Mahanadi water data will expose Odisha: Chhattisgarh

Bhubaneswar: Stoking the Mahanadi water controversy further, Water Resources minister of Chhattisgarh Brijmohan Agarwal has said that once the data on Mahanadi is available, Odisha will be exposed. According to Brijmohan, Odisha is using more water than stipulated in the Hirakud agreement and once the information is out, Odisha will be unmasked.

“The Hirakud dam was built as a flood protection measure. Odisha is using more water than what was stipulated in the agreement while Hirakud dam was built. Once this fact is out, Odisha government will be exposed and I think it is doing politics over Mahanadi water issue and is not interested in resolving the problem,” said Brijmohan.

In reply to Brijmohan’s statement the ruling-BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb, said “Odisha has nothing to hide and if anyone will be exposed, it will be the Chhattisgarh government. Chhattisgarh is providing more water from Mahanadi to industries by building six barrages on the upstream of Mahanadi than what Odisha is using from the Hirakud dam.”

Meanwhile, Congress has criticized both the Odisha and Chhattisgarh government.

“Even we are of the opinion that Odisha government is doing politics over the Mahanadi water issue. The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and its ministers might be giving such haphazard and misleading statements for the interest of their State. How can they say such things without proper facts? The water flow during non-monsoon season will be affected by the projects it is building,” said Leader of Opposition Congress.

On the other hand, as per the data available on the Central Water Commission (CWC), Basantpur’s website, the water flow into Hirakud dam has declined during non-monsoon season. As per the CWC statistics, while 2296 million cubic meter water flowed into Hirakud dam during 1991 and 2001, it declined to 1763 million cubic meter between 2001 and 2011. Between 2011 and 2015, 1301 million cubic meter of water has flown into Hirakud dam.

“Part of the decline in water inflow into Hirakud dam can be attributed to reduced rainfall. However, if barrages are built to supply water to the industries then there is a high probability that the water inflow will decline substantially during non-monsoon periods,” said retired engineer-in-chief  Ramesh Tripathy.