Odisha govt blames Chhattishgarh for giving wrong information on Mahanadi water flow

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Monday alleged that neighbouring Chhattishgarh government was giving wrong information on the flow of water to Hirakud reservoir in the downstream of Mahanadi.

File photo of Mahanadi river.Wikimedia Commons

File photo of Mahanadi river.Wikimedia Commons

"It is unfortunate that Chhattishgarh has been spreading wrong information about the gate operation at Kalma barrage. The gates are operated in an improper manner, with an intention to arbitrarily restrict the water flow and by this action the inflow to the Hirakud reservoir is reducing," Odisha's water resources engineer-in-chief SK Jain told reporters.

Odisha government's statement came a day after Chhattishgarh water resources minister Brijmohan Agarwal's statement that flow of water in river Mahanadi was normal and there had been no stoppage of water at Kalma barrage.

"Today(Monday), at the end of the non-monsoon, the scenario in the reduction of inflow to Hirakud reservoir is amply clear from the observation recorded at the Hirakud dam site," Jain said adding that inflow to the reservoir has been reduced by 79.37 percent in May last in comparison to 2013-14 to 2015-16.

Alleging that the Chhattishgarh government's act of closing the gates at Kalma barrage caused reduction in water flow to Hirakud reservoir, Jain said: "In the name of changing gate bays from time to time, which is frequently done by switching amongst the 66 number of gates, they resort to complete closure for sizeable time period."

"In the name of testing the gates, gates closure option has been adopted. The pond level is frequently changing as per the information available with Hirakud Dam authorities. Because of these actions, the inflow to Hirakud reservoir has reduced considerably," Jain said.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that he would take up the matter with Central Water Commission. Pradhan also said that he would also urge the union water resources ministry and Central Water Commission to ensure that free flow of water in Mahanadi river through Odisha is not affected.

However, another union minister from Odisha Jual Oram raised suspicion on the Odisha government's sincerity on Mahanadi issue. He alleged the state government did not want to resolve the matter and kept the dispute alive for political gain.

Earlier, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to his Chhattishgarh counterpart, had requested to ensure free flow of water down stream of Mahanadi river by opening the gates of Kalma barrage, one of the six major barrages allegedly constructed unilaterally by the neighbouring state.

Updated Date: Jun 05, 2017 20:47 PM

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