Fearing that dams on river Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh would have adverse impact on Odisha, Congress today asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take an all-party team to Delhi to raise the matter with the Prime Minister. Congress will send a delegation to Chhattisgarh in a week to study the sites where dam and barrages are proposed to be constructed, senior party leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters.
“Congress demands that Naveen Patnaik should take an all-party delegation to Delhi. Along with leaders of all political parties, the chief minister should meet the Prime Minister and apprise him about the matter,” Ramesh said. It is the responsibility of the chief minister to safeguard the interest of Odisha and its people, he said. They should tell the Prime Minister that any construction on Mahanadi should take place after speaking to Odisha and obtaining its approval, he said.
“No barrage or dam should be constructed over the river upstream at any location in Chhattisgarh without full knowledge and approval of Odisha,” Ramesh said. Making noise here and staging protests in Odisha was meaningless, the Congress leader said accusing the ruling BJD of trying to divert attention of the people from issues like Kandhamal killings.
The CM must act in a responsible manner instead of adopting attention diversion programmes, he said while responding to a query about BJD’s plan to stage protests in 15 districts of the state from Monday till August 11.
Congress feels that proposed constructions on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh would have adverse impact on Odisha, Ramesh said, adding the party delegation would visit the sites in Chhattisgarh and study possible impact these could have on Odisha.