Odisha to take up Mahanadi water release with issue with CWC

29 Jun 2017

The Odisha government today accused Chhattisgarh of releasing excess water from Mahanadi river into Odisha without information and said the matter will be taken up with the Central Water Commission (CWC).
"It is unfortunate that the Chhattisgarh government did not inform Odisha before opening the barrage gates to release the river water into our state," Odisha's water resources secretary P K Jena said. The sudden release of water from the upper catchment area of the Mahanadi will affect flood water management in Odisha during heavy rains, though the situation is under control at present, Jena said. The state government will take up the matter with the CWC seeking its direction to the Chhattisgarh government to share information with Odisha before opening the barrage gates to release flood waters, Jena said. Stating that prior information about release of water is necessary for flood control measures during monsoon, a senior official said both states had agreed to exchange information on the use of Mahanadi water at an inter-state coordination meeting held recently.
Chhattisgarh had refused to open the gates of Kalma barrage on the Mahanadi during summer despite repeated pleas by the Odisha government, he said. Now Chhattisgarh has suddenly opened the gates following heavy rains in the upper catchment of the river without prior indication, the official said. Odisha has been protesting "illegal" construction of a number of dams and barrages in upper catchment of the Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh saying it will severely hit river water flow in Odisha. A war of words also began between the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP in Odisha over the development.
BJD leader and Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray hit out at Chhattisgarh for its sudden action without prior information. He said it will create flood-like situation in many areas of Odisha. However, BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit said there is no sign of flood-like situation and accused the ruling party of trying to derive political mileage out of the Mahanadi river water issue.