BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD on Wednesday demanded an unconditional apology from Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh for his statement that a major part of catchment of Mahanadi river is in Chhattisgarh and the State has exclusive right over its water.
“Singh’s statement is erroneous, misleading and against the federal spirit of the Constitution,” BJD vice-president and Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya told media conference here. Alleging that there is a tacit understanding between Chhattisgarh and Centre (both of which are BJP ruled), Acharya said a conspiracy has been hatched to deprive people of Odisha people of using Mahanadi river water.
Stating that Chhattisgarh has used its share of water and will use more, Singh had said at a media conference at Raigarh that neither Central Water Commission (CWC) nor the Centre can prevent it from doing so. Chhattisgarh will complete all ongoing projects on Mahanadi river, he said.
Acharya said the stand of Singh, which came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s misleading statement on Mahanadi river water at Cuttack on May 26, points towards an understanding between the Centre and Chhattisgarh over the issue.
Condemning the statement of Singh, BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra referred to the recommendation of the Commission on Water, Irrigation and Water Ways at the time of construction of Hirakud dam which said Madhya Pradesh and Odisha can claim 40 per cent and 60 per cent of Mahanadi river water.
An official report prepared in 1947 also required that 5 MW electricity generated from Hirakud should be shared with Madhya Pradesh, the State on the upper catchment. While Odisha has not deviated from any of these arrangements, Chhattisgarh has violated all recommendations, Mishra said.
Countering Singh’s statement that BJD is doing politics over the Mahanadi river water dispute, BJD general secretary Sanjay Dasburma said Chhattisgarh is going to polls later this year which is earlier than Odisha. Alleging that Singh has raised the issue because of polls in Chhattisgarh, Dasburma said BJD will continue to fight for the rights of people of Odisha. BJD State secretary Bijay Nayak was also present. The Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) and Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) demonstrated at the Master Canteen Square here in protest against the statement of Singh.
Resolve issue amicably, says Puri seer
Bhubaneswar: Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati on Wednesday said Odisha and Chhattisgarh should settle the dispute over Mahanadi river water amicably through discussion. He said different countries, including India and Pakistan, share river water through mutual understanding. He, however, said both Odisha and Chhattisgarh should give justice to Mahanadi river.
Mahanadi tribunal notice to 5 States
Bhubaneswar: The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has issued notice to Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments to nominate their representatives for adjudication of Mahanadi river water disputes latest by August 6, 2018. The notice, issued under Rule 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Rules, 1959 also mentioned that if no nominations were received by due date, the case may be decided in the absence of any representation of that State Government. The Centre had constituted the tribunal on March 12, 2018 on the request of the Government of Odisha made under Section 3 of Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956. The Centre made reference for taking up adjudication to the tribunal under Section 4 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 on April 17, 2018.