Parliament session: Mahanadi row on top of BJD agenda

Post News Network

Bhubaneswar, July 17: With the monsoon session of parliament set to commence Monday, the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is all set to raise the issue of barrage construction on the Mahanadi’s upper catchment by the Chhattisgarh government, among a host of other issues concerning the state.
“We will raise the unilateral move of the Chhattisgarh government to construct projects on the Mahanadi’s upper catchment area during this session among other issues,” said Bhartruhari Mahtab, leader of BJD’s parliamentary party in Lok Sabha, to reporters Sunday.
The move by Chhattisgarh’s BJP government has given BJD a shot in the arm to counter the Opposition BJP in the state. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had raised the Mahanadi issue at the inter-state council meeting of chief ministers presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Saturday.
The Chhattisgarh government has planned three projects on the Mahanadi’s upper-catchment area such as Pairy-Mahanadi intra-state link project; Tandula Reservoir Augmentation scheme on Mahanadi river project that would have a severe adverse impact on the flow of water to Hirakud Reservoir; and a reservoir-based dam on the Kelo River adjacent to the Orissa border.
The state government, which has dubbed the Chhattisgarh government’s action as a “unilateral move,” claims that the projects, if unchecked, would severely affect the agricultural economy in around 15 districts in Orissa as these districts are hugely dependent on the Mahanadi’s water.
BJD will also raise the long-pending issue of the Polavaram dam project taken up by the Andhra Pradesh government, which the Orissa government has dubbed as an “anti-Orissa project”.

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