Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday sought suggestions from various political parties, NGOs and individuals on the Mahanadi water dispute ahead of the proposed meeting with the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre on September 17.
“I welcome suggestions from individuals, voluntary organisations and political parties on the Mahanadi issue,” Patnaik told reporters after completion of a high-level meeting on the issue presided by him.
“We just had a meeting on the Mahanadi water issue. We are fully prepared for the discussion with the central government on the 17th of this month,” Patnaik said.
Earlier, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti had proposed to organise a meeting on the Mahanadi water issue on any date between September 10 and September 20. Bharti had said Patnaik would decide the date on which the Centre would also invite Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to be present at the meeting.
Subsequently, the state government had apprised the Centre that the Chief Minister would attend the meeting to be held in Delhi on September 17.
The preparatory exercise of the state government for the meeting on Monday was also attended by state industries minister Devi Prasad Mishra, forest and environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, revenue and disaster management minister Bijayshree Routray and planning and convergence minister Usha Devi.
Mishra was one of the members of the ruling BJD team, which made an on-the-spot visit to the neighbouring state where projects were allegedly constructed by Chhattisgarh government without consulting Odisha government.
Meanwhile, a fact-finding team of the ruling BJD had submitted a report to the Chief Minister on the possible impact on the river Mahanadi due to construction of projects by the Chhattisgarh government.
After submitting the report to the Chief Minister, BJD team leader and MP Prasanna Acharya lashed out at Chhattisgarh government for undertaking construction of barrages and other projects without consulting the Odisha government.
He said construction works taken up in an unilateral manner was against the principles of federal set up.