Following the recent blowout over the Cauvery water dispute, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have locked claws over another dispute regarding the river Mahanadi.
The centre has called for a joint meeting with the chief ministers of the two states on Saturday before the dispute blows wide open into an all out war.
Chief Ministers Naveen Patnaik and Raman Singh have agrred to attend the meeting, which will be chaired by water resources minister Uma Bharati.
The issue began when Odisha accused its neighbouring state of building multiple barrages over the river without the consultation of the former. Chhattisgarh however, claims that the state hasn’t been drawing any more water than it is supposed to, suggesting that the barrages do not obstruct the flow of Mahanadi.
The Patnaik government has also sought the need of a tribunal to help alleviate problems with the sharing of water as it demanded the interference of the central government.
“The commitment when the Hirakud Dam was built was that the catchment area would be 84,000 sq km. That should be protected in the interest of the Hirakud reservoir. Secondly, Chhattisgarh has to ensure the non-monsoon flow of water to Odisha in a manner it was agreed upon when the Hirakud Dam was constructed. The onus is on the Union government to see that the flow of the river is maintained without hurting the interests of Odisha.” BJD’s Lok Sabha MP Bhatruhari Mahtab said.
Seeking middle ground, Patnaik sent a delegation of BJD MPs to Chhattisgarh. The delegation will revert a ground report that would be the brought up at the meeting