Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today alleged that his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh was “not cooperative” in resolving the Mahanadi dispute. “Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti had called a meeting of the Chhattisgarh chief minister and myself. He (Raman) was totally non-cooperative,” Patnaik told reporters while reacting to Singh’s claim that the dispute could be resolved in three minutes if the two chief ministers sat for a discussion. “Whatever he (Raman Singh) said is not correct,” the chief minister said.
The dispute between the two states became serious after the Chhattisgarh government constructed projects on the upstream of the Mahanadi river, leading to a reduced supply of water to the Hirakud reservoir in Odisha. The Chhattisgarh government, however, did not accept the Odisha government’s claim of a reduced water flow. The Odisha government has already moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay order on Chhattisgarh’s construction activities.
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On his arrival here to attend the BJP’s national executive meeting, Singh said, “We are ready for talks on the Mahanadi issue with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.” Describing the dispute as a “non-issue”, he said it was “unnecessarily made an issue” during the Odisha panchayat polls.
Bharti, who too arrived here to attend the BJP’s national executive meeting, preferred not to comment on the dispute. “As the Odisha government has taken the matter to court, I should not comment on it,” she said. However, Bharti added, “We have plans to link the Tista- Sankosh with the Mahanadi. The river in Odisha will get water from both the rivers. If there is additional water, it will be discharged to the Godavari.”