Patnaik failed to announce action plan for Mahanadi dispute: Cong
Bhubaneswar: Congress today accused Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of “failing” to announce any action plan to resolve Mahanadi water issue and that he “decided against taking any step” to stop projects on the river in Chhattisgarh in 2001 to benefit the industrialists.
“The Chief Minister could have stopped construction of projects in upstream of Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh in 2001 when BJD was a partner in the NDA government at the Centre and a party MP was the Union Water Resources Minister,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra claimed here.
Accusing Patnaik of hiding information on Mahanadi riverwater issue, the Congress leader claimed Patnaik in 2001 had asserted in Odisha Assembly that Chhattisgarh would not be allowed to construct barrages and dams on Mahanadi river as it would hit the flow of water into the state.
“However, the Chief Minister failed to keep the promise he had made in the Assembly though BJD was a partner of the BJP-led NDA which was in power both at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh in 2001,” Mishra alleged.
“Patnaik decided against taking any step to get buildingof projects on Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh stopped to protect the interests of industrialists,” he alleged adding the industrialists for whom the projects were being built, were also setting up units in Odisha.
Hitting out at the Chief Minister for his statement on Mahanadi issue in the Assembly yesterday, Mishra alleged although MLAs of all parties during the two-day debate unanimously felt the need to unitedly fight to protect Odisha’s rights on Mahanadi water, Patnaik rejected the members’ views.
While the legislators wanted the Chief Minister to spell out a plan of action to settle the issue, Patnaik failed to announce any plan to deal with the dispute with Chhattisgarh, he alleged.
In 2010, through the then parliamentary affairs minister, Paknaik had informed the Assembly that the flow of water into the Hirakud Dam was not affected despite building of projects on Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, Mishra said.
“The Chief Minister had even claimed that water flow had instead risen by 24 per cent,” the Congress leader said.
Terming Patnaik’s reply in the Assembly as a “narrow” political statement, he said the Chief Minister did not say what action or steps are being taken to protect the interest of the state by securing its due share of Mahanadi water.
“It appears that Patnaik is trying to hide everything relating to Mahanadi river water issue. He did not share any information about the tripartite meeting held in Delhi on September 17 on the matter,” he said.