Pledging to take the Mahanadi river water issue to its logical end, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today dubbed as "unfortunate" the statements of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan on the matter.
"The statement of Honourable Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi water issue yesterday is most unfortunate," Patnaik told reporters while reacting to Singh's statement.
Singh had yesterday said his government would go ahead with the projects despite the stiff resistance put up by the Odisha government.
"Chhattisgarh is taking water after getting nod from the CWC (Central Water Commission). In fact, we have the right to take more water. Nobody can prevent us from going ahead with the construction. We are currently using only 25 per cent of the water," Singh had said.
Denouncing Singh's statement, Patnaik said, "It violates the cardinal doctrine of inter-state river water sharing between co-basin states and our federal governance."
The Odisha Chief Minister, who has already sought intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the dispute over Mahanadi water, also sharply reacted over Union Minister Balyan's statement in Parliament yesterday.
"What is more unfortunate is the false and misleading statement of Balyan, minister of state, water resources, on the floor of Parliament yesterday," Patnaik said.
Meanwhile, the Union Government has convened a joint meeting between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on July 29 to discuss the sharing of Mahanadi water.
Stating that he has requested the Raman Singh government to stop all construction on the upstream of river Mahanadi till the issue is resolved, Patnaik said, "Mahanadi is the lifeline of our state. We shall not allow Mahanadi to dry out because of the unilateral and blatant action of Chhattisgarh state."
As the ruling party leaders, including ministers, have already launched a fortnight-long agitation against the Chhattisgarh's alleged unilateral construction of projects on upstream of Mahanadi, Patnaik said, "I assure the people of the state that my government will take up the issue at various levels and leave no stone unturned to establish justifiable rights over the water of Mahanadi."
The state government has been alleging that as many as 15 of the 30 districts of Odisha, would be severly affected if the Chhattisgarh government completed projects on upstream of river Mahanadi. Patnaik said about 65 per cent of the state's population would suffer due to "unilateral" action of Chhattisgarh government.
Upping the ante on the construction of barrages on the upstream of Mahanadi, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister had said, "This issue is being unnecessarily politicised. Our government started the construction of projects in the Mahanadi basin only after getting approval of CWC. When we have a discussion, we will ask for a greater share of water due to us, which we will use for irrigation and other purposes."