Opposition Asks Odisha Govt To Present House Panel Report Over Mahanadi In Assembly


Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and Congress Tuesday asked the Odisha government to table the reports of two panels on Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh in the Assembly before holding a special discussion on the issue.

The matter was raised by Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra of BJP during the Zero Hour. He said that two committees, one by the leader of the House – chief minister and another by Assembly Speaker, were constituted when the entire state expressed concern over neighbouring Chhattisgarh constructing barrages illegally and blocking free flow of Mahanadi water.

In December, 2017, two panels were constituted and the committees visited the areas where Chhattisgarh had constructed the barrages. However, the Assembly was not aware what were the findings of both the teams, Mishra said.

The LoP also said a five member legal panel was also set up by the state government to oversee the Mahanadi water dispute matter in the tribunal. The House would like to know how much money is spent and the reason behind the extension of the tenure of the tribunal.

Noting that he has served a notice for a detailed discussion on the Mahanadi water dispute through a motion in the House, Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said though two panels were formed, there have been no meetings.

“This (not holding meetings) speaks how serious the government was for resolving the water dispute. The water resources minister has also no given any statement in the House despite a ruling by the Speaker,” the Congress veteran said.

The speaker, however, said that the minister has not given the statement as the House is likely to take up a full-fledged discussion on the matter.

Mishra also targeted Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti Bisheswar Tudu, who hails from Odisha. “It is understood that the Union Minister despite being from the state has not intervened in the matter,” he said.

Earlier, the ruling BJD members had stalled proceedings of the House over Mahanadi water dispute and accused the BJP led Central government and previous UPA government for not resolving the Mahanadi water dispute. BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra accused both the BJP and the Congress of not being sincere to resolve the issue even as people in 15 of the state’s 30 districts suffer due to erratic flow of water in downstream of Mahanadi.

The BJD leader alleged that Chhattisgarh has been causing lot of problem for the people of Odisha by regulating water through several barrages at the upper stream of the Mahanadi river in their jurisdiction. They release excess water during monsoon and block free flow of water during summer causing miseries for the people in downstream in Odisha, he said.

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