Mahanadi Row: Odisha calls Centre’s bluff
Keeping up its pressure on the Centre over Mahanadi river water dispute, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday gave a breach of privilege notice against Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjib Balyan for allegedly misleading the Parliament over the issue. The privilege notice is now under consideration of the Lok Sabha Speaker, said BJD parliamentary party leader Bhatruhari Mahatab.
Balyan had told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the detailed project report (DPR) of Kelo project was sent to the Odisha Government in 2006 and the project was sanctioned in 2009. Baliyan had questioned why Odisha Government took so long to raise the issue in 2016. But Mahatab said Odisha Government was kept in the dark over the project. The State was not informed about the project at all, he claimed.
Further clarifying Odisha’s stand, the BJD Parliamentary Party leader told this paper that the Union Minister told half truth in Lok Sabha when he said the Odisha Government had sought a month’s time following which the tripartite meeting convened by Centre on June 27 was deferred.
Mahatab said the Odisha Government wanted the meeting to be deferred as the Chhattisgarh Government had not submitted DPRs of six minor irrigation projects on river Arpa. The neighbouring State had given the DPR of only one project over Arpa, the BJD MP said and added that the Odisha Government considers all the seven projects as an integrated project.
The Odisha Government agreed for the meeting only after DPRs of all seven projects were provided by the Chhattisgarh Government, Mahatab said.
The Centre has convened a meeting between the Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments over the river water dispute on Friday. Official sources said chief secretaries of Odisha and Chhattisgarh will attend the meeting at New Delhi.
Meanwhile, BJD has deferred the visit of its fact finding team headed by Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya to Chhattisgarh for the time being. Sources said the team will make an on the spot visit in August to the locations of dams and barrages being constructed by the Chhattisgarh Government and prepare a report.
sambad epaper 30/07/2016 : http://sambadepaper.com/epapermain.aspx