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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 1:

Weeks after Chhattisgarh closed all the gates of Kalma barrage affecting the inflow to Hirakud, Chief Engineer of Odisha Water Resources Department Ramesh Tripathy wrote to his departmental secretary suggesting construction of gauge site in the downstream of the river.

Barrage built on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh.
Barrage built on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh.

 

“It is unjustifiable to close all the gates of Kalma barrage for two days in a row. This affects inflow into the Hirakud reservoir. We need to construct gauge stations to observe the inflow of water during the summer,” Tripathy said speaking to reporters today.

Tripathy’s recommendation has also been endorsed by the Mahanadi basin authorities who proposed construction of gauge sites in the downstream of Kalma.

According to reports, Chhattisgarh had closed all the gates of Kalma barrage for two days on December 12 and 13 severely affecting the flow of water into Hirakud reservoir.

Reacting to the development, BJD MLA Sashi Bhushan Behera urged Chhattisgarh Government to halt the construction activities on all industrial barrages.

“The water inflow into Hirakud reservoir was affected as all the gates of Kalma barrage were shut down. Work on all the industrial barrages in Chhattisgarh need to be stopped immediately to protect the interests of Odisha,” said Behera.

Meanwhile, several social organisations of both states today organised a human chain at Kanakatora near the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border criticising the government inaction and demanding a special policy on water sharing.

“Both the state governments are competing between themselves to give away Mahanadi water to industries. This has put the river and Hirakud reservoir in danger,” argued farmer leader Lingaraj.