Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday asked his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh to ensure free flow of water in the Mahanadi River by immediately opening the gates of Kalma barrage closed by the neighboring state recently.
Taking strong exception to the alleged closure of gates of Kalma barrage by Chhattisgarh Government, Naveen wrote a letter to Raman and pointed out that the move has caused severe distress downstream affecting people of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Bargarh districts, resulting in widespread resentment.
“The unrest may rise to an uncontrollable fury if free flow downstream Kalma barrage in Mahanadi River is not restored immediately”, he wrote.
As per official sources out of 66 gates of the barrage, Chhattisgarh is releasing water through a 40-cm gap of only one gate, releasing about 1700-1800 cusec of water from the barrage.
“I emphatically state that this unilateral action of your government in closing the gates of Kalma barrage and stopping free flow of water is wholly contrary to the inter-state riparian rights as per the 1945 understanding (under the chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar) when the Hirakud dam was planned,” Naveen wrote.