Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 1:

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has granted clearance to Chhattisgarh for the Kelo project on river Mahanadi through the backdoor without informing Odisha alleged Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here today adding that it was not proper.

AP Padhi

“I want to make it clear that we have not received those two letters. You can very clearly see in those letters that Odisha had not been invited to that meeting. Neither has the Odisha government been informed even after the project was given clearance. It is now clear that Kelo project has been given clearance behind our back,” clarified Padhi at a press conference refuting media reports that Chhattisgarh government had written letters to Odisha in 2008 over the Kelo project on river Mahanadi.

The Chief Secretary made it clear that Odisha would not tolerate and approach appropriate forum for justice if water flow during the non-monsoon period is affected.

“If the desired flow of water during the non-monsoon period is decreased, Odisha will be adversely affected and that we will not tolerate. After we get the data and find that Odisha’s interests are being adversely affected we will certainly approach the appropriate forum for getting it stopped or getting justice,” Padhi pointed out.

“Out of the seven projects of Arpa and Bhoisagar the state government has received the detailed project report (DPR) of only one project in April on which we have already given our comments. We don’t have DPRs or details of the three projects that have been completed and the three they have planned to execute. It’s not possible on our part to estimate the combined impact here without details,” informed Pradip Jena Principal Secretary Water Resources department of the Odisha government.

Contrary to Chhattisgarh government’s earlier belligerent stand on the water dispute, the state’s Water Resources Minister Brij Mohan Agarwal today seemingly softened their stand by stating that they had documents to prove that they had dispatched the letters and wanted for resolving the issue through mutual dialogue.

“We can say that we have documents to prove that we have dispatched the letters. We are good neighbours. We want to resolve the issue through dialogue and do not want to make it national issue,” said Agarwal.

Meanwhile, BJD MP Prabhas Singh today gave notice for a breach of privilege notice against Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan for providing erroneous information in the Lok Sabha over the Mahanadi issue.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has sought a reply from Balyan in this regard, reports said.