Odisha govt to approach Prez in Mahanadi water dispute
Ruling BJD in Odisha on Thursday decided to draw attention of President Pranab Mukherjee to the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh even as it prepares to conduct a 370-km long human chain in protest.
The party has also decided to launch a signature campaign at village level and collect signatures from 86 lakh families to be affected by construction upstream by Chhattisgarh, said BJD leader S N Patro. The signatures would be sent to the President, Patro said. A human chain would be formed across 15 districts from Hirakud to Paradip. The date for the human chain would be decided at a meeting on November 7. The party would also carry out awareness programmes on the Mahanadi issue, he said.
BJD MP Prasanna Acharya alleged the Centre has taken the sides of the Chhattisgarh government, which has been undertaking construction work upstream. “The Centre is directly or indirectly cooperating with Chhattisgarh in expediting the projects. The Chief Minister had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in the matter. But, no response has been received yet,” he said.
The state government would also take the matter to the Supreme Court requesting to stop construction on Mahanadi’s upper catchment area and to set up a water tribunal for it, said BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb.