Mahanadi water usage not harming Odisha’s interests: Chhattisgarh CM

Raipur: Amid Odisha government’s concern over proposed irrigation projects on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh said his state has been utilising legitimate share of water without affecting interests of the neighbouring state.

Singh alleged the issue was being raised by the BJD government in Odisha to seek “political gains”.

Singh’s statement came in the wake of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his concern over structures and proposed irrigation projects across Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh.

Patnaik has requested Centre’s intervention into the matter.

“Chhattisgarh utilises its legitimate share of river waters without ever harming the interests of Odisha and other states. We respect the Inter-State River waters sharing agreement and are duty-bound to observe the fair share agreement at any cost,” a release quoted Singh as saying.

It stated about 54 per cent of the geographical area of the state is drained through Mahanadi which is the “lifeline” of Chhattisgarh.

“River Mahanadi and its tributaries have a total drainage area of 53.90 per cent from Chhattisgarh, 45.73% from Odisha and 0.35 % from other states,” Singh said.

“The catchment area of Mahanadi up to Hirakud dam in Odisha is 82,432 sq.kms, out of which 71,424 sq km lies in Chhattisgarh which is 86 per cent of the total catchment area.

An average inflow of Mahanadi at Hirakud dam is 40,773 MCM, out of which 35,308 MCM is the share of Chhattisgarh,” he stated.

Singh said utilisation of water by Chhattisgarh is about 9,000 MCM (million cubic metre) which is only 25 per cent of the available water in the river.

He added the under-construction barrages on Mahanadi are basically for industrial use and the proposed irrigation area through it is only 3,100 hectares.

“The projects fall under the Minor Irrigation Projects category. Hence, they do not need any clearance from Central Water Commission (CWC),” the CM said, adding that Kelo is the only major project which has already been duly approved by the CWC.