BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) fact finding team on Mahanadi river water dispute has maintained that construction of barrages and dams by Chhattisgarh will affect non-monsoon flow in the river and seriously affect agricultural activities in Odisha.
The fact finding team led by Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya which visited Chhattisgarh to make an on the assessment today submitted its report to chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The 25-page report has come down heavily on the BJP government in Chhattisgarh for violating guidelines and not taking the lower basin state Odisha into confidence for the construction of dams and barrages on Mahanadi and its tributaries.
The reports alleged that the dams and barrages have been constructed for non-agricultural purpose and supply water to industries, Acharya told mediapersons that it is a conspiracy by the NDA government at the Centre, BJP government in Chhattisgarh and Odisha unit of BJP to hurt the interest of Odisha.
In its two day visit to Chhattisgarh in August, the committee met government officials besides making on the spot study of different projects. The team had requested Chhatisgarh government to provide information on different projects. However, the team had to finalise the report as the government of neighbouring state did not respond, he said.
"We have prepared the report basing on whatever information we got after speaking to officials and general public in Chhattisgarh and the extent of loss these projects are going to cause to Odisha," Acharya added.
The fact finding team submitted its report a day before the high level preparatory meeting convened by the chief minister on the issue before the tripartite meeting scheduled at New Delhi on September 17. Besides the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chhatisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and union water resources minister Uma Bharti will attend the meeting.
Bharti had proposed a tripartite meeting including the chief ministers of both the states over Mahanadi water dispute at New Delhi on any day between September 10 and 20 after a delegation of state BJP leaders led by union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan met him.