Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 8:
Left parties and the Samajwadi Party in Odisha have threatened to launch an agitation unless the state government rolls back its decision to allow Posco to use water from Mahanadi and Hansua rivers.
“We will not allow Posco to use water meant to irrigate farmers’ fields and supply drinking water to the people of the undivided Cuttack district under any circumstances” said a joint statement issued Wednesday by four parties – CPI, CPI (M), Forward Bloc and SP.
The joint statement signed by Janardan Pati (CPI-M), Dibakar Nayak (CPI), Purnachandra Padhi (Forward Bloc) and Rabi Behera (SP) said the state government was compelled to withdraw its decision to allow Posco to draw 125 cusecs of water from Naraj in Mahanadi river following public unrest in 2006.
CPI state secretary Nayak said the state government, which in 2006 had asked Posco to look for an alternative source of water for its use in view of the raging public unrest, has suddenly changed tracks and while the 2014 polls are underway, it has again allowed Posco to draw water from Mahanadi.
Allowing Posco to draw water from Mahanadi would very seriously affect irrigation in Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Puri districts, said CPI(M) state secretary Janardan Pati.
Pati pointed out that if Posco is allowed to water from Hansua river it would affect the farmers in Cuttack sadar, Biridi, Raghunathpur, Tirtol, Jagtsinghpur, Ersama and Balikuda in a big way.
It may be recalled here that the secretary of the state Water Resources department Suresh Chandra Mohapatra had sent a letter to the collector of Jagatsinghpur district saying the government has granted permission to the South Korean company Posco to draw water from river Mahanadi as well as Hansua river for its proposed steel plant which has been in limbo for the last 9 years.