BHUBANESWAR: A day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik started consultation with different stakeholders on Mahanadi water dispute, the BJP on Thursday questioned his motive of the last minute exercise.
“The ruling BJD has no interest to resolve the issue. It is political pressure that has made the Chief Minister to seek opinions of political parties, civil society organisations, experts and individuals on the controversial issue,” BJP’s State president Basant Panda told a media conference here.
Panda said the Chief Minister should have kept all information on the Mahanadi controversy on public domain before seeking opinion.
When the State Government claims that it has no information about the projects undertaken by Chhattisgarh Government on the upstream of Mahanadi river, how could it expect considered opinion from people on such a complex issue? he wondered.
The Chief Secretary and Water Resources Secretary have gone on record saying that the State Government has no information about the projects that are being constructed by Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi. The State has sought all information from Chhattisgarh. However, the Chief Minister had presented all facts about the projects in the Assembly which is self-contradictory, he said.
Besides, a senior leader of the BJD has raised serious questions about the functioning of Water Resources Department. It clearly demonstrates that the BJD is divided on the issue. Since the Chief Minister is in charge of the department for than one and half a decade, he must respond to the charges, Panda said.
Dubbing the Chief Minister’s dedication of 1,100 check dams to people from Secretariat as another political gimmick and publicity stunt, Panda asked for a white paper on water resources available in the State and irrigation coverage in Odisha from 2000 onward.
Reacting to Panda’s allegations, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the BJP is yet to understand that the State Government is trying to protect the interest of Odisha and is fully prepared for the tripartite meeting to be held in New Delhi.