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Union Minister Blames Chhattisgarh BJP Govt On Mahanadi Water Row

The interest of Odisha can never be compromised, Pradhan said urging Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take steps in this regard.

Bhubaneswar, Jun 10

Senior BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said Odisha was not receiving sufficient water from the Mahanadi river during non-monsoon period due to Chhattisgarh blocking its flow.

The inflow of Mahanadi water into the Hirakud reservoir in Odisha has been hit due to construction of barrages by the Chhattisgarh government in the upper catchment areas of the river, Pradhan told reporters at Sambalpur.

“Chhattisgarh has stopped Mahanadi water in the upper catchment areas. It is providing water to industries. As a result, lower catchments in Odisha are getting reduced water in non-monsoon period,” Pradhan said.

The interest of Odisha can never be compromised, Pradhan said urging Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take steps in this regard.

Mahanadi has been a bone of contention between Odisha and Chhattisgarh with the former opposing construction work on upstream of Mahanadi by the latter, thereby blocking the flow of water to downstream.

Stating that Odisha also provides water from the Mahanadi to several industries, the Union Minister said it is necessary to mount pressure on the Chhattisgarh government to ensure that Odisha gets its due share of the river water.

Pradhan also accused the BJD government in Odisha of having failed to take steps for conserving and utilising Mahanadi river water, a major volume of which, he said, flows to the sea and goes waste.

Taking a dig at Pradhan for his comment, senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member, Prasanna Acharya said the BJP-led government at the Centre should put pressure on Chhattisgarh and ensure release of sufficient Mahanadi river water into Odisha.

Pradhan’s comment on Mahanadi came barely nine days after he had condemned the statement of his party colleague and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on the river water dispute with Odisha, describing it as “deplorable”.

During BJP’s Vikas Yatra in his state on May 29, Singh had said that nobody can stop Chhattisgarh from utilising Mahanadi river water. He had also said the Odisha government was trying to politicise the issue.

“Raman Singh’s remark on the Mahanadi issue is deplorable. The people here have been saying that Chhattisgarh has committed a mistake. I also admit it,” Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, had told reporters here on June 1.

Asked whether Chhattisgarh was right in constructing barrages on the Mahanadi upstream unilaterally, he had said, “It is a mistake. The tribunal would take appropriate action for such acts.”

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