Mahanadi project issue

Odisha Chief Minister creating farce over Mahanadi water dispute: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik rejected center’s negotiation committee to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute, union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday the Chief Minister is unnecessarily creating farce by using constitutional jargon only to safeguard his vested political interest.

“As per Inter-State Water Dispute Act, there is a right to form a tribunal. Let a tribunal be formed. But prior to the formation of the tribunal, the center has gone a step forward with the formation of a negotiation committee to resolve Mahanadi issue. But, the Odisha government is no mood to agree to the formation of the committee,” Pradhan told media persons here.

Criticizing the double standard of the state government, Pradhan said the Chief Minister is changing his mind frequently while it suits them.

“A meeting of chief secretaries of Odisha and Chhattisgarh was convened by the Water Resources ministry recently. Though the Odisha chief secretary agreed to the decisions taken at the meeting, he later changed his mind after talking to someone else.  Most probably he changed his mind after receiving instructions from one of the clerks of the Third Floor,” said the union minister.

“Besides, the discussions between the Chief Ministers at a meeting presided over by union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti are recorded and it will be brought out as a proof. Our Chief Minister, who had agreed to the proposal at the meeting, also changed his mind later at the instance of a subordinate staff,” said Pradhan.

Notably, Naveen Patnaik on Saturday rejected center’s negotiation committee for resolving the ongoing Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh government.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said, “The Committee will only delay the setting up of a Tribunal which will allow Chhattisgarh to complete the construction of the disputed projects.”