OPCC demands PM’s intervention to resolve Mahanadi issue

Bhubaneswar: Amidst debate on whether a tribunal is required to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the state Congress unit on Sunday sought immediate intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for amicable settlement of the issue.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi should intervene and ask Chhattisgarh to stop project work on upstream of Mahanadi,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan told reporters.

Harichandan’s remark came a day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that a tribunal is the only way out to resolve the Mahanadi dispute while Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan advocated for a fresh negotiation.

The OPCC president, however, blamed both the BJD and the BJP for the Mahanadi fiasco and accused them of doing politics over the sensitive water sharing matter.

“The Cnetral government has been deliberately delaying formation of a tribunal,” Harichandan said adding that Congress would intensify stir over the issue and expose the “politics” of both the BJD and the BJP.

Stating that OPCC has already organised a Odisha bandh over Mahanadi issue, Harichandan blamed the state’s BJD government for keeping mum when Chhattisgarh started construction of projects.

He also accused the Centre of siding with Chhattisgarh which is ruled by the BJP.

Harichandan said the water flow in Mahanadi has already declined by 40 per cent and the situation will lead to scarcity of drinking water in several cities and villages in Odisha.

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