BHUBANESWAR: Chhattisgarh Government has completed 2268 projects in the upper catchment of Mahanadi river while 443 more are under implementation. Industries Minister Niranjan Pujari admitted this in a written reply to a question from Dilip Ray (BJP). Similarly, Jharkhand Government has also completed construction of 15 dams and barrages on the upper catchment of Bramhani river and three more projects are under implementation.
The Minister said Chhattisgarh Government has already constructed eight large, 29 medium, 1860 minor irrigation projects and 371 anicuts on its side of Mahanadi river. Work on four large, three medium and 305 minor irrigation projects, 125 anicuts and six industry barrages are going on, he said and added the water use capacity of these projects on Mahanadi river are now 83.1 lakh acre feet and is likely to increase to 274.8 lakh acre feet.
Stating that flow of water into Hirakud reservoir has gone down because of construction of industry based barrages by Chhattisgarh, the Minister said these may affect power generation, irrigation, supply of water to industries and create drinking water scarcity in Odisha. Pujari said these projects will also adversely affect ecology of Satkosia sanctuary, Chilika lake, mangrove forests in Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha marine wildlife sanctuary. Pujari said Jharkhand Government has constructed 15 dams on Koel and Sankh rivers, tributaries of Bramhani. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh Government has constructed several dams on the lower catchment of Bansadhara and Nagavalli rivers.
There is flood threat to Kashinagar block and Gunupur town in Rayagada district due to construction of Gota barrage by Andhra Pradesh on Bansadhara river, he said. Construction of Maredi barrage will submerge a large area in Odisha besides increasing flood threat to Gunupur town. Andhra Pradesh is constructing dam at Chapra over Mahendratanaya river, Pujari said and added that this may create drinking water crisis for Paralakhemundi town.