Kalma barrage row: Uma Bharti urged to ensure free flow of water

Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday urged Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti to advise the Chhattisgarh government to open the gates of Kalma barrage to ensure free flow of water in the Mahanadi river.

Pradhan said the free flow of water would mitigate the sufferings of the people of Odisha.

“It is stated that non-monsoon flow into Hirakud Reservoir received from the upper catchment of Mahanadi basin is showing a significant downward trend. The percentage reduction has alarmingly gone up to 78% in the month of May,” Pradhan said in a letter to Uma Bharti.

He said this stop of flow had caused severe anguish in the downstream areas, thus affecting the district water needs in peak summer month.

“If this trend is allowed to continue, there will be near stoppage of flow of water into the Hirakud Reservoir and in all likelihood will cause great loss to the reservoir and the downward catchment area,” he said.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the Chhattisgarh government to stop the construction of barrages on Mahanadi river and ensure free flow of water to the state.

He also urged Modi to open the gates of Kalma and other barrages to maintain the free flow of water downstream which is the rightful claim of Odisha and its inhabitants. (IANS)

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