CUTTACK: The Mahanadi Banchao Andolan (MBA), which is spearheading the movement against diversion of water from the Mahanadi to industries, has warned that allowing permanent constructions for continuous drawing of water from the river to projects will have grave implications on groundwater availability, leading to disastrous situations in the region.
Submitting a memorandum to the five-member expert committee studying the impact of construction by IOCL at Hadia Patha, the organisation has called for detailed evaluation of the water availability throughout the year before reaching a conclusion.
The river bed goes dry in the non-monsoon months and even the Jobra Barrage reservoir feels acute pressure from November to June. The impact is already visible on the non-availability of water for the irrigation channels through Taladanda and other canals branching out of the barrage.
The drinking water requirements of Cuttack city and adjoining areas is primarily met from groundwater.
In the event of allowing large industries like IOCL and Posco to get their water from the Jobra Barrage, the consequences are glaringly evident. During the dry seasons, the industries will depend on groundwater to meet their requirement. The catastrophic fallout can be easily foreseen, president MBA GC Hota has said.
The five-member expert committee headed by retired chief engineer SM Patnaik is due to submit its report to the High Court later this month.
The High Court has directed the committee to thoroughly study all possible impact of the construction of the intake well and laying of pipeline by IOCL on the entire water distribution system.
The Committee has been entrusted with the responsibility of studying water availability across all seasons, irrigation requirement and current demand and supply scenario, groundwater level and availability along with the implications of the pipeline on the Ring Road.
The Court had stayed construction on a PIL filed by the Nationalist Lawyers Forum.
While warning that the canal system would be rendered defunct due to scarcity of water during the dry non-rainy seasons and the groundwater would be acutely depleted, the organisation has sought stop to all activities at Jobra, Naraj and other upstream of Mahanadi for provisioning of water to industries.