Mahanadi Water Issue: Odisha Rejects Centre’s Expert Committee

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday rejected the proposal of the centre for constituting an expert committee to look into the Mahanadi water sharing issue.

“We reject the proposal as it does not stop the construction by the Chhattisgarh government and the helpless Union government,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik participating in a motion of Mahanadi water sharing issue.

Informing that Mahanadi is the lifeline of Odisha, the Chief Minister said the construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh will seriously jeopardize the fragile eco-system such Satkosia, Bhitarkanika, and Chilka etc.

He said the tripartite meeting convened by Union Minister Uma Bharati did not heed to the demand of the state government to stop construction by Chhattisgarh Government on Mahanadi.

He said the Cabinet has decided to take all steps both administrative and legal to protect the rights of Odisha.

The Chief Minister also criticized the all-party meeting called by Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra.

He said the meeting exposed inherent contradictions between the two major national parties, Congress and BJP which was not only obvious in the said meeting but also immediately after.

“The meeting did not have the sanction of their leadership. All of you know, the Congress leadership took an approach different from the one adopted by the All Party Meeting and went for an agitational path alone immediately after the meeting making the All Party Meeting a non-starter,” said Patnaik.

He said the issue of Mahanadi has been created by the then UPA government at the Centre and the BJP government in Chhattisgarh.

“UPA Sarkar failed to discharge its federal responsibility as enshrined in the Constitution causing great injustice to the people of Odisha. What made it worse was the central funding of some of these projects which had interstate ramifications,” he added.

Now both BJP and Congress are doing “Kumbhira Kandana, said the Chief Minister.

He said the present NDA Sarkar for obvious political reasons is blatantly taking sides with the BJP led Chhattisgarh Government.

“These narrow political considerations in this sensitive interstate issue jeopardize the interests of Odisha,” said Patnaik.

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