Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 9: 

The 12-member committee of Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal, which is in Chhattisgarh to review the construction of projects on the upper catchments of Mahanadi, today alleged that the State Government there is facilitating water to the industries in the name of irrigation.

BJD team in Chhattisgarh

The leaders visited the Kelo project area in Chhattisgarh and met the district collector and the engineer of water resource department there to discuss the issue.

“They have not yet made the drinking water and irrigation canals functional. However, they have set up large pipes to provide water to the industries here,” said leader of the delegation Prasanna Acharya speaking to reporters.

The leaders also questioned the role of Central Water Commission (CWC) in the issue.

“The CWC should take its decision in a way that protects the interests of the states at both upper and lower end of the basin. I believe, they have failed to do so in this case,” Acharya added.

Earlier in the day, the BJD team also met the people from Jharsuguda area who are likely to suffer once the projects become functional.

“The construction of projects on Kelo River and Mahanadi has resulted in diminished flow of water in both these rivers. This is affecting the crops here. Further, it is also affecting the lives of the fishermen. This year the flow of water during summer was so less that we could cross the river on motorcycles,” said Pradeep Pradhan, a resident of Jharsuguda.