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Centre responsible for Mahanadi river row: BJD leader Prasanna Acharya

Senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya has blamed the Centre for the Mahanadi row and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to resolve the river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

“If the Prime Minister intervenes in the matter actively, the Mahanadi river water issue could be resolved.

However, the Prime Minister has kept mum,” said Acharya, a former Odisha minister.

Noting that the BJP is in power both at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh, the Rajya Sabha member said it should put moral pressure on the Chhattisgarh government to sort out the matter.

The Mahanadi river dispute was the outcome of “lack of national outlook and myopic approach” adopted by the Narendra Modi government, Acharya told reporters here yesterday.

“Though they (BJP) are speaking about national interest, they lack national outlook. In a federal set up, the Union government should intervene to resolve disputes between two states… Such an approach adopted by the party is a threat to national integrity,” he said.

The BJD leader also accused Modi of having tried to mislead people over the Mahanadi issue at a recent public meeting in Cuttack, where he had said that 52 per cent of the river water was flowing into the Bay of Bengal, and the Odisha government should have taken steps to block it.

“If the river water is prevented from flowing into the sea, it would trigger an ecological imbalance. At least 30 to 35 per cent water of a river must be allowed to flow into the sea to maintain the ecological balance,” Acharya said.

Hitting out at the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh, he said that the state has constructed dams on the Mahanadi on the pretext of anicuts for irrigation purposes, which is “illegal”.

Stating that the National Green Tribunal had put a stay on further construction on the Mahahandi, Acharya alleged that the Chhattisgarh government has recently floated a tender for a new barrage on the river, in “violation of the order of the NGT”.

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