Mahanadi row: Misc case in HC to make Naveen, CWC parties

Cuttack: Even as chief minister Naveen Patnaik left for Delhi to attend the tripartite meet on Mahanadi issue, a misc case was filed on Friday in High Court seeking to make the BJD supremo and Central Water Commission (CWC) parties in the public interest litigation (PIL) filed on the issue.

The petitioner, Mahanadi Banchao Mancha, prayed the court that since the CM was aware about the construction in the upper reaches of Mahanadi since 2001, he must be made a party in the PIL filed before the court by it on August 5.

The outfit, fighting for the protection of the river further said that in 2001, Patnaik in the State Assembly had replied to a question raised by late legislator Ashok Das on the construction of barrages made by Chhattisgarh government. Besides, in the Assembly last year, BJP MLA Radharani Panda had wanted to know about the status of construction work in the upper stream of Mahanadi, to which the CM had replied. The outfit stated, since Patnaik was aware about the developments, he should be made a party in the PIL.

The hearing has been scheduled for next week.

In the PIL, the association had prayed the court to restrain Chhattisgarh government from constructing any dam and barrages in the upstream basin of river Manahadi till disposal of the case. The petitioner also had urged the court to intervene in the matter citing that neither the Chhattisgarh nor the Odisha government are dealing with the dispute in a proper manner.

The petitioner has contended that Mahanadi is lifeline of Odisha and if Chhattisgarh government constructs barrages and dams in the upstream then flow of the river will be badly affected in Odisha. People and farmers of Odisha will suffer due to scarcity of water.