Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 16:
Odisha Unit of Congress today came out with a white paper on the Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh and held the state government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for the entire fiasco.
Addressing a press conference in Bhubaneswar today, PCC President Prasad Harichandan argued that the State Government was aware about the construction of several projects on the upper catchment of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, however, provided misleading information in the Odisha Assembly.
“We repeatedly asked the State Government to come up with a white paper on the issue to make its stand clear. However, that didn’t happen. We have come up with our white paper on the issue. We have placed several important documents that prove that the State Government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were aware of the issue,” said Harichandan.
“Even though the issue was taken up in the Assembly on multiple occasions, the government provided misleading information that assured that the state won’t be affected irrespective of the constructions in Chhattisgarh. Now they keep saying that Mahanadi will dry up because of the barrages there. This exposes their double standard. Apart from the State Government, Odisha BJP and the BJP led government in Chhattisgarh are equally responsible,” he added.
On a positive note, however, the PCC Chief hoped that Naveen Patnaik will be able to sort out the differences with Chhattisgarh and justice will be done to the state in the tripartite meeting brokered by Union Government and scheduled to be held tomorrow in New Delhi between Odisha Government, Centre and Chhattisgarh Government.
“I wish the Chief Minister all success in the tripartite meeting. I hope that the meeting would resolve the Mahanadi water issue. However, if it fails to reach an understanding to defend the interests of Odisha, the State Government should demand for a water dispute tribunal as provided in the Interstate Water Dispute Act of 1956,” Harichandan said.