Mahanadi dispute: Odisha, Chhattisgarh inter-state meeting tomorrow
Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, Jul 28:
The Centre has called for an inter-state meeting tomorrow to find a solution to the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the construction of certain projects in the upper catchment of river Mahanadi by the latter.
The meeting has been called by the Union Water Resources Ministry which will be attended by the Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
“We have called for a meeting tomorrow to resolve the Mahanadi dispute. Both the states have been asked to participate in the meeting. Our role will be restricted only to mediation between the two states,” informed Union Minister of State (MoS) for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan.
On the other hand, Odisha’s ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has said that it will move a privilege motion in Parliament over allegedly misleading facts presented by Balyan on Chhattisgarh’s projects on Mahanadi.
“During the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Mahanadi issue, Union MoS for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan had presented two wrong facts. The Minister had presented wrong facts over Detailed Project Report (DPRs) on Arpa and Kelo projects. Our Parliamentary party is preparing to move a breach of privilege motion in the Parliament on the issue,” informed BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb briefing the media.
However, Balyan has refuted the charge claiming that he had provided the information in the House on the basis of facts submitted by the Chhattisgarh government.
“I had informed the House on the basis of information provided by the Chhattisgarh government. I haven’t misled the House at all. Let them (BJD) bring privilege motion then we will see,” said Balyan in his reaction to BJD’s proposal to move a breach of privilege motion against him.
The Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati has come in support of Balyan.
“The Union MoS for Water Resources has given no misleading information in the House. BJD’s allegations are baseless. If BJD is doing this with a political motive then we have nothing to say,” stated Bharati.
It’s worth mentioning here that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had yesterday termed both Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Balyan’s statements over Mahanadi issue as ‘most unfortunate’ and had said that the latter had provided misleading information.
Notably, Balyan had told in the Lok Sabha that the DPR of Kelo project was sent to Odisha in 2006 and the project was approved in 2009 while questioning why Odisha government had not opposed the project then.