Four irrigation projects yet to be approved due to Mahanadi dispute: WR Minister Tukuni Sahu
The minister while replying to another question said the state government has decided to construct 27 barrages and 66 in stream storages in phases on different rivers of the state.
BHUBANESWAR: The Central Water Commission (CWC) is yet to approve the state government’s proposal for setting up four major and medium irrigation projects in the lower Mahanadi basin because of the dispute over sharing of the river water between Odisha and Chhattisgarh pending with the tribunal.
The detailed project reports (DPRs) of the irrigation projects including the Upper Udanti barrage, Tel integrated dam, Laxmipathar dam and Lamadora dam have been prepared and submitted to the CWC for approval. However, the CWC is yet to approve the projects and examine the DPRs after the final report was submitted by the Mahanadi River Water Disputes Tribunal. Replying to an unstarred question of BJD MLA Bhupinder Singh in the Assembly, Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu said work on the Uttei-Raul integrated project is going on. Feasibility report of the Lower Udanti project will be approved by the CWC after the final report of the Mahanadi River Water Disputes Tribunal.
Replying to a separate question, the minister said during the last non-monsoon season, the water level of Hirakud dam had reached 1.001 million acre feet due to low flow of water to Mahanadi from neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The Centre had constituted the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal in March 2018 to resolve the row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of the river water. Hearing of the case is still going on, she said.
The state government, through a statement of claim (SOC), has put forth its demands before the tribunal. Other co-basin states such as Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh have also submitted their claims before the tribunal. The Odisha government has further submitted its counter-affidavits to the demands of the other states, the minister informed the House.
The minister while replying to another question said the state government has decided to construct 27 barrages and 66 in stream storages in phases on different rivers of the state. She said 30 projects have been sanctioned in the first phase while 16 were approved for the second phase. Besides, 20 projects will be taken up in the third phase.