Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday called for a 4-hour hartal in four Western Odisha districts on Saturday against the Chhattisgarh government’s move closing Kalma barrage gates and not allowing free of Mahanadi River downstream.
The party demanded immediate opening of the barrage gates to ensure flow of water downstream.
Announcing this at a press conference here, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP and vice-president Prasanna Acharya, vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra and Rajya Sabha MP Nagendra Pradhan said the hartal will be observed in Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda and Sonepur districts from 6 am to 10 am.
They said rallies and roadside meetings have been scheduled for Friday in the four districts. Describing it as a matter of seriousness, Mishra said closure of Kalma barrage gates has resulted in acute drinking water scarcity in Western Odisha.
Earlier on June 3, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written to his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh to instruct officials of Chhattisgarh water department to immediately open the barrage gates.
Following no response, Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 6 seeking his intervention.