Mahanadi Flood: Odisha, Chhattisgarh Officials To Hold Talks On Water Sharing
Bhubaneswar: With the flood situation in the Mahanadi turning grim, senior officials of Odisha and Chhattisgarh are likely to hold talks on Tuesday to work out a proper mechanism for river water sharing.
The Chief Secretaries of both the state and other senior officials are set to meet through video conference at 4 pm, sources said.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the flood situation in the state. Senior officials of various departments were present. The release of excess water from the Hirakud reservoir was also discussed.
Following heavy downpour triggered by the formation of back-to-back low-pressure areas over the last few days and the opening of sluice gates at Hirakud dam to release excess water, a flood situation is now witnessed in the Mahanadi river system.
Apart from flood fury in Mahanadi, the threat of flood is looming over large parts of Odisha with the water level rising in several rivers. Many people residing in areas where there are chances of possible flood have been already relocated to safe places.
Eight sluice gates of the dam were closed on Monday to prevent any large-scale flood in its downstream areas. The water level surged above 625 ft in the Hirakud dam as of 6 am. A total of 26 sluice gates of the dam are now open to release excess floodwaters.
Talks between the two states assume significance as a fresh war of words has erupted between Odisha and Chhattisgarh with the swollen Mahanadi river threatening to flood large areas of both states following days of heavy rainfall triggered by two back-to-back low-pressure systems over the Bay of Bengal.
Following heavy rainfall in Chhattisgarh, a huge volume of water has been flowing into an already swollen Mahanadi, whose water level continues to rise.
The ruling BJD and opposition BJP have lashed out at Chhattisgarh holding it responsible for the flood situation in the Mahanadi river system in Odisha.
While senior BJD legislator Debi Mishra accused Chhattisgarh of violating the tripartite agreement on Mahanadi, Odisha president of BJP Sameer Mohanty has held the neighbouring state responsible for the current flood in the state.
Mohanty said his party condemns the irresponsible action of the Chhattisgarh government that has led to flood in Mahanadi. The neighbouring state is well aware that if it opened the barrages in upstream of Mahanadi, it would put pressure on the downstream in Odisha.
Yet, they went ahead with releasing the excess water, thereby increasing water level in Hirakud Dam, he added.
Maintaining that it is the responsibility of Chhattisgarh to inform Odisha about opening flood gates beforehand, Mohanty said both should work out strategies in coordination with each other to prevent loss of human lives and properties due to floods.
He further said the BJP had raised objection to the construction of barrages over Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government ignoring the opposition from Odisha.