CWC to probe alleged violation of rules

Bhubaneswar: Amidst allegation of "flood mismanagement" in Orissa, union minister Srikant Jena today said the Central Water Commission (CWC) would probe into implementation of the stipulated rules meant for operation of Hirakud reservoir.

"The CWC team will investigate and ascertain if the Rule Curve for Hirakud reservoir at the upper end of river Mahanadi is maintained," Jena, minister of state for chemical and fertiliser, told reporters after meeting the visiting Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) members.

Action would be taken against officials concerned, if violation of guidelines in Hirakud dam was detected, he said.

Jena said this after his party colleague and Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik drew attention of the central team to alleged violation of the guidelines for Hirakud reservoir.

"Violation" of prescribed rule for maintenance of water level of Hirakud reservoir and "mismanagement" in regulating release of water caused the current floods in Mahanadi river system, Patnaik alleged before the IMCT.

"Without any prior notice, almost 10 lakh cusec of water was released through 59 gates of the dam against normal opening of 36 gates," Patnaik said.

Terming current flood as "man-made," the PCC chief said CWC needs to examine river water management in Orissa.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro denied the charge saying the state government had followed the Rule Curve in Hirakud in "letter and spirit." He asked Congress not to politicise natural calamities.

While Congress alleged that there was mismanagement in relief operation, central team members said nobody in flood hit areas had made any such complaint before them.