With Odisha and Chattisgarh sparring over barrages being constructed on Mahanadi river, Centre today promised to explore a solution acceptable to both states and urged them to set up a Joint Control Board to deal with such issues in future. Minister of state for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan said the Centre was only a intermediary as the issue was majorly a state subject. “We had convened a meeting last month of both the states. The next meeting is due on July 29 and if within one year no solution is arrived at, then the matter would reach the tribunal,” Balyan said in Lok Sabha. He was replying to a calling attention motion by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab on undertaking of barrage projects over river Mahanadi by Chattisgarh, thereby severely impacting flow of water into Hirakud dam in Odisha.
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said at the upcoming meeting, a solution would be arrived at so that neither of the states would have any problem. She said Odisha is a state which is very close to the Centre’s heart and hence it could not be put to any trouble. Raising the issue, Mahtab had demanded that construction of projects by Chattisgarh should be stopped on the Mahanadi river as it will severely impact irrigation and drinking water availability in Odisha. Balyan suggested that a study be conducted on the impact of such construction on Odisha during non-monsoon period as during monsoon, there was enough water flow.
“As per the 1983 pact signed between two states, a Joint Control Board was to be set up. The two states should come forward to set up the Board so that such problems do not arise in future,” he said, adding that Chattisgarh government has started construction before the recommendations of the Technical Advisory committee came in.
Observing that the role of Central Water Commission (CWC) comes only after any state gives notice to the Centre, Balyan said Odisha gave a notice only one and a half months back and since then the Centre has convened meetings. Some members also demanded that Centre should device a permanent solution to stop sparring between states which share river water.”Some members observed that in future people would be fighting for water. We should come out with such a mechanism so that water would become the reason for love between people,” Bharti said.