C’garh again shuts Kalma barrage; affects inflow in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi water has further deepened with the latter opening and shutting Kalma barrage gates at its will raising serious concerns over inflow into Hirakud dam which would affect lives and livelihood of the people living downstream.

Apprehending drastic fall in non-monsoon inflow to Hirakud dam this year like that in last year, Odisha government’s Water Resources department has written three letters to Chhattisgarh government in a month, the last being on October 24 by department’s Principal Secretary Pradip Jena to the Water Resources department of the neighbouring state.

The State government has expressed that water stored in Hirakud reservoir would be insufficient to meet the requirements of the people living downstream during non-monsoon period and therefore there is a need for normal flow in Mahanadi.

The State government has noted that illegal construction of barrage by Chhattisgarh upstream of Mahanadi had affected inflow into Hirakud dam last year while adding that with inflow getting affected management of the reservoir would get affected resulting in serious impact on the lives and livelihoods of people residing in downstream districts.

The State government has requested Chhattisgarh not to create impediments in Mahanadi’s flow.

“Our Principal Secretary has written to his Chhattisgarh counterpart to release water during non-monsoon period as before,” said Gopal Prasad Rai, Chief Engineer, Water Resources department.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh government today shut 64 out of 66 gates of the Kalma barrage further restraining inflow of water to Hirakud dam.

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