Bhubaneswar: While ridiculing Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the elusive ‘acche din’, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik today appealed to the former to open the gates of Kalma barrage in Chhattisgarh before his visit to the State on Saturday which would mitigate the distress of at least two crore people living downstream of river Mahanadi.
“Four years back while seeking votes he had promised ‘acche din’. We the people of Odisha are in a state of distress. Two crore people, who are residing on the banks of Mahanadi are in misery. We would request the Prime Minister to open the Kalma barrage before coming here which can instill some amount of trust and hope among the people of Odisha,” said Patnaik to reporters on being asked to comment on Modi’s proposed visit to Odisha on May 26.
The senior Congress leader sought the Prime Minister to halt work on the ongoing projects upstream of Mahanadi.
Besides, the OPCC president appealed to the Prime Minister to make the inter-state river dispute tribunal constituted for resolving the Mahanadi water dispute fully functional and at the same time expedite the process.
Moreover, Patnaik said till the tribunal comes up with its decision, Kalma barrage should release water and ongoing projects on Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh should be put on hold.