Odisha Opposes Barrages

Odisha Government is bracing to seek a halt to the construction of Mohamala-Sirapur barrage and other projects on Mahanadi upstream in Chhattisgarh.

State Government will present details at the inter-state conference to be chaired by Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Principal Secretary Water Resources Department Pradeep Kumar Jena has shot off a strongly worded letter to his Chhattisgarh counterpart in this regard.

In his letter Mr.Jena said that Odisha Government was not informed about the proposed project for which Chhattisgarh has floated tenders.

“This defies National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order issued in July 2017 asking Chhattisgarh not to proceed with dams and barrages on Mahanadi,” he said.

However, on 17, November, 2017, Chhattisgarh Government has invited tenders for construction of Mohmela-Sirpur barrage and all appurtenant works including maintenance and operation for two years on Mahanadi river in Arang Taluka of Raipur district, the letter stated.

“Commissioning of any such project by the Chhattisgarh Government without prior information to its co-basin state Odisha is a contravention to the Central Water Commission (CWC) guidelines 2017, besides being prejudicial to Odisha and its inhabitants,” the Principal Secretary said in the letter.

Notably, the conference will be attended by representatives from Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Mainly inter-state river water issues will be discussed at the regional conference.

“We will present our argument during the inter-state meeting. Apart from this, we will demand that Chhattisgarh should stop all construction works till the Mahanadi river water issue is settled,” said Surjya Narayan Patro, Minister Food Supply and Consumer Welfare, who is attending the meeting as Minister Water Resources is unwell.

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