Mahanadi water row: Chhattisgarh opens 17 gates of Kalma barrage ahead of Tribunal’s visit to Odisha

Jharsuguda: Chhattisgarh released Mahanadi river water through about 17 gates of Kalma barrage on Tuesday evening ahead of the second phase of the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) team’s field visit to Odisha scheduled from April 29 this year, an official source said today.

This ‘tactic’ act of the neighbouring government has raised the eyebrows of many.

“The Tribunal earlier visited the State in connection with the ongoing row over sharing of Mahanadi water. Allegedly, as the reservoir of Kalma barrage has reached its maximum capacity of retaining water (197 metres), Chhattisgarh opened 17 sluice gates. The government also opened 11 gates of its Gadchiroli barrage on Wednesday morning, following which a good amount of river water was seen at Sukhasoda. During the summer season, usually, the riverbed here remains dry,” the source further said.

Sukhasoda is the place where the Mahanadi riverbed starts in Odisha, the source added.

On being contacted, Hirakud Dam authorities in Sambalpur admitted the ingress of Mahanadi river water. However, with the river remaining dry to a large extent in Odisha during the last month, the inflow of water will not pose any threat to Hirakud’s reservoir, the authorities clarified.

It is pertinent to mention, Kalma barrage has 66 sluice gates and it can retain a maximum of 50.39 cubic million metres of water. During the first phase of the MWDT team’s field visit to Chhattisgarh, most of its barrages had Mahanadi river water close to their maximum capacity including Kalma barrage.

On the contrary, the Odisha Water Resource Department had reported to MWDT that most parts of the river bed in the State were then dry, which was refuted by the Chhattisgarh government.

The MWDT team is to visit Kalma and Kelo barrages during the last two days of the second phase.

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