BHUBANESWAR: Even as the flow in Mahanadi river has decreased and there is a threat to other rivers due to construction of barrages and dams on the upstream, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday asked the officials to prepare a comprehensive river policy for Odisha within the next three months. He also announced that `75,000 crore will be spent by the State Government within five years for Water Resources Development in the State.
Naveen said barrages will be constructed on Mahanadi at several places to store water to be utilised for drinking and agricultural purposes. He did not indicate where the barrages will be located but said the barrages will come up at places having less displacement possibilities.Naveen also made two major announcements on projects launched several months ago. He said, there will be concrete lining of Bargarh and Sasan Main canals estimated to cost around `400 crore. Stating that these two projects will be completed within three years, he said the Gangadhar Meher Megalift Canal System will also be completed within the same time.
The State Government had, on Monday, announced a project to construct seven barrages across Mahanadi as a counter to Chhattisgarh which has already completed several dams on the upstream choking water flow. However, the announcement by the State Government had come in for sharp criticism from the opposition political parties as their locations were yet to be identified. Problems faced during the launch of such projects have also been completely ignored. Besides, the Government has also announced that it is preparing a master plan to construct seven barrages in the downstream of Mahanadi river and 22 barrages on tributaries and distributaries of Mahanadi.