Bhubaneswar: While Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has written to Odisha Chief Minister seeking a date convenient to the latter for holding talks with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to resolve the dispute over sharing of Mahanadi water, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today stated that the State has been already affected due to construction of barrages upstream of the river by Chhattisgarh.
“Surplus water from Mahanadi has stopped flowing into Hirakud. Water level at Naraj and Jobra has dropped. Even water level in Kuakhai on outskirts of Bhubaneswar has decreased. Residents of Bhubaneswar will face water scarcity in March. So Odisha has been already affected due to construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh upstream of river Mahanadi,” commented Mohapatra speaking to newsmen on Gadkari’s letter to Chief Minister Patnaik for resolving the dispute through dialogue with Chhattisgarh.
Taking a dig at the Union Water Resources Ministry, the senior BJP leader said “I have no idea what details was not provided by the State government in the Mahanadi matter. But all details are with the Central Water Commission (CWC). But why CWC is not sharing it with the Union Minister is not clear. The CWC should apprise the Minister on the Mahanadi issue. It’s again not clear why CWC is not apprising the Minister?”
While describing Union Minister Gadkari as an efficient minister, Mohapatra said that nothing was clear in the Minister’s remarks.
“I feel the Minister didn’t give a clear picture on constitution of a separate tribunal for resolving the Mahanadi dispute. I feel he was not properly briefed by the department,” the former Irrigation Minister remarked.
“Those who are arguing that no injustice will be done to Odisha, should know that it is already a victim of injustice. Mahanadi’s fate is already hanging in the balance since from where it has originated has already dried up. Mahanadi has been already affected,” he clarified.