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Mahanadi issue: Naveen launches BJD awareness rally

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Chief Naveen Patnaik today launched a rally to make people of aware of its dispute with the neighbouring BJP-ruled over the water sharing issue.

Patnaik, also the ruling (BJD) also accused Odisha's BJP leaders of supporting in this issue. has been objecting to construction of projects on by

"The attitude of the BJP government at the Centre and in Chhattisgarh is anti-Odisha. The BJP leaders in Odisha are supporting Chhattisgarh for its projects on and shedding crocodile tears after coming here," he said.

Addressing a public meeting where he launched the 'Mahanadi Surakhya Yatra' of the BJD at Sukhasoda in district, he said if BJP leaders have the slightest sympathy towards the people of Odisha, they should oppose the Chhattisgarh government's work on the river.

Stating that the Mahanadi remains dry in most of the year except rainy season, Patnaik said it was the BJD which had been opposing the Chhattisgarh government's works.

"The BJD government has gone to the and the Mahanadi tribunal has been constituted due to our demands," Patnaik said and called upon the people to actively participate in the rally.

The rally will pass through 15 districts and culminate at Paradip in 15 days, and Susant Singh said.

"During the fortnight-long campaign, public meetings and cultural programmes will be organised in villages and towns on the routes of the rally to make people aware of the conspiracy hatched by the to dry up Mahanadi river," Singh said.

This apart, diyas would be offered to the deities in all the temples on both sides of the river including Mata Samaleswari in Sambalpur and Lord Gadagadeswar in Cuttack, Singh said adding that handbills and booklets on the issue would be distributed among people during the campaign.

The BJP, however, criticised the BJD for not resolving the Mahanadi issue through negotiations.

"The tribunal may take a decade long time to come to any conclusion. Therefore, the matter should have been resolved through dialogue. But the BJD government is not interested to resolve the matter and make it alive for political gains," said

said the BJD's awareness campaign can not resolve the issue.

"The started construction of projects in 2000. Why the was sleeping till 2015? The BJP led central government has also been unkind towards Odisha in Mahanadi issue," said.

The had moved the in December, 2016, seeking an order asking Chhattisgarh to stop its construction work in projects on the upstream of Mahanadi, saying it had affected the river flow in the state. It had also pitched for setting up of the tribunal.

Following the directive to the Centre, the approved setting up of a tribunal to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on sharing of water.

The 857-km long originates from Amarkantak in Raipur district of and flows around 494 km through Odisha before meeting the sea. Its catchment spreads over 1.41 lakh square km in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 17:10 IST