Cuttack: In a silent ‘Jal Satyagrah’, members of Mahanadi Banchao Andolan (MBA) stood in knee-deep water of the Mahanadi river at Jobra, to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the water dispute between Odisha and Chhattishgarh.
With banners in hand, the activists highlighted alarming decline in the water-level of the Mahanadi. They made special requests to Modi to direct Raman Singh-led Chhattisgarh government to open Kalma barrage gates.
“We welcome the Prime Minister to Odisha. Mahanadi is the lifeline of Odisha and he will be holding a public meeting on the river bed. At present, the river is in a precarious state and is dying a slow death due to the closure of gates of Kalma barrage,” said Sudarsan Das, convenor of MBA.
The various slogans read as:
“Dear Prime Minister! Can you afford to be partisan and favor CG and neglect Odisha on Mahanadi issue?”
“Dear Prime Minister! Our Life line Mahanadi is in danger. Please save it”
“Dear Prime Minister ! Can you afford to ignore the Rights of Odisha on Mahanadi Water?”
”Dear Prime Minister ! The Rivers of the Country need to be protected for our future generation. Will you please bring a National River Policy for the Country?”.
On May 13, the MBA had organized an all party meeting where 14 parties of the state including, BJD, Congress, BJP Communists joined in expressing their concerns over closure of all gates of Kalma barrage in Chhatishgarh.
One of the MBA members said they had written to the PMO on May 14 requesting an appointment but have received no response so far.
“Declining water level of Mahanadi is an issue of great concern for not only the citizens of Cuttack but the entire state,” said scuba diver Sabir Bux, who also joined the Jal Satyagraha.