Mahanadi widens rift between two states, fuels disagreement among parties

Bhubaneswar: The rift between the two states – Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi water dispute has now grown wider with the opening of Kalma barrage gates by the latter.

Earlier despite massive protests by Odisha government, Chhattisgarh had refused to open the gates of Kalma barrage during summer. But the Raman Singh government opened the gates unilaterally after heavy rains in the upper catchment of the Mahanadi river.

Out of 66, as many as 47 gates of the Kalma barrage have now been opened leading to a serious dispute between the two states. The situation of heavy water flow during rains has raised fears of floods in Odisha.

“Release of the river water by Chhattisgarh during monsoon would affect the flood water management in Odisha. It is indeed a trouble for the people of Odisha. We will take up the matter with the Central Water Commission,” said Water resources secretary Pradeep Jena.

However the Mahanadi issue has sparked off debates between the BJD and BJP in Odisha. Refuting Odisha government claims of flood apprehension, the BJP, which has always maintained that it is concerned about Odisha and can never harm interest of its people, has termed these as baseless.

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