BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Cabinet deferred a decision on next course of action on Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh for at least a week, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) questioned the silence of Odisha Government on the issue for the last 10 years.
Construction of dams and barrages over Mahanadi river by Chhattisgarh is a 10-year old problem, but the State Government raised the issue only in June this year, OPCC president Prasad Harichandan said and held Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for failure of the tripartite meeting at New Delhi.
Stating that failure of the tripartite meeting has disappointed the people of Odisha, Harichandan criticised the CM for making such a massive show while going to New Delhi for the meeting. The CM should have demanded the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the talks failed, he said and added that the Centre will set up a tribunal to adjudicate on the issue on the State Government's request.
The OPCC president also criticised Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti for her statement that water flow in Mahanadi will not reduce. Harichandan said non-monsoon flow in Mahanadi has already reduced because of construction of dams and barrages and will further decrease after the projects are completed. The Union Minister is trying to placate the people of Odisha by making such false promises, he said.
Senior leaders Niranjan Patnaik and Kanhu Charan Lenka criticised the State Government for its inefficiency which has resulted in such a situation.
Meanwhile, the State unit BJP has criticised the ruling BJD for politicising the issue. Criticising the Government for deferring a decision on the future course of action on the issue, vice-president of the State BJP Samir Mohanty said the party will fight for the interest of Odisha and will not allow decrease of water flow in Mahanadi during non-monsoon period.