Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 3:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today informed the Assembly that the state government has filed a suit in the Supreme Court yesterday seeking an injunction against Chhattisgarh over construction of barrages on the upper catchment of Mahanadi.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

“The state has filed an Original suit in the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution of India on December 2 seeking an injunction against Chhattisgarh from continuing with the construction of ongoing projects and from taking up future projects,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed the House during the Zero Hour.

Terming the unilateral planning and construction of projects illegal that would spell socio-economic and ecological hazard to the state and its inhabitants, Patnaik said: “We have claimed as part of our equitable share a minimum flow of 12.28 million acre feet of Mahanadi water at Hirakud dam as per the DPR of Hirakud project of 1947 and a further utilization of 3.67 million acre feet in the surplus flows.”

Notably, the state government last month (Nov 22) had filed a statutory complaint before the Centre under Section 3 of the Inter State Water Disputes Act of 1956 for the construction of Inter State Tribunal to adjudicate the water disputes arising from unilaterally planned utilization of 27.48 million acre feet of Mahanadi water by the Chhattisgarh government as against a total availability of minimum flow in Mahanadi river of 20.61 million acre feet.

On the other hand, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state Assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra lashed out at the government for the move.

“In 2010, the Chief Minister had told the Assembly that water flow to the Hirakud dam during the non-monsoon season has not decreased despite construction of various barrages and dams on the upper catchment of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh. Rather, 24% more water is flowing to the dam. If the Tribunal asks, what would the state government reply?” Mishra questioned.

“We had asked Chief Minister to take Opposition into confidence and discuss the issues with it. We had suggested to take a concerted step after examining legal and other angles, which he didn’t do. He puts statements to take credit and takes steps which are flawed. Either he does it deliberately or unknowingly,” he added.