Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Feb 3:
Union Minister of Water Resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti today washed her hands of the Polavaram project controversy, terming it as an ‘inter-state issue’ and stating that Centre would not interfere in the matter.
“Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments should settle this issue mutually. Andhra government has informed me that it will settle this issue. This is an issue coming under the state subject. Both the governments should sit across the table and settle it among themselves. I understand the Centre should not act as a mediator in every issue,” said Bharti briefing reporters at a press meet at Burla near here today.
The Union Minister told reporters that during her meeting with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the evening she would propose for inter-linking of river Mahanadi with river Godavari. She said inter-linking of Mahanadi with Godavari will be of benefit to Odisha.
“Linking of rivers Mahanadi and Godavari will be of maximum benefit to river Rushikulya. Irrigation projects large numbers need to come up in districts along Rushikulya river. We are not going to go ahead on these projects till there is consensus between the state governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given me a piece of advice on projects pertaining inter-linking of rivers. I will cent percent adhere to it. We will discuss it with the state governments. One thing I can say is out of the total rainfall received in India 12% of it is alone received in Odisha but then it plays havoc in the state. While one part of the state gets affected with floods, the other part suffers from drought,” said Bharti.