BJD defers mega convention on Mahanadi till April 22

State

Bhubaneswar, Apr 14

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today announced deferment till April 22 of its proposed mega symposium on Odisha-Chhattisgarh Mahanadi River water dispute to decide its next course of action.

Party spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy told reporters that the symposium in which ministers, BJD MPs, MLAs, elected representatives at block, town and zilla parishad level from at least 15 districts will participated was earlier scheduled for April 15.

He said representatives of  Angul, Bargarh, Boudh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Subarnapur, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Khurda would take part in the symposium which would be held at the party headquarter in the State capital.

A preparatory meet on the upcoming symposium would be held tomorrow at the party headquarter also where the agenda of the meeting would be decided, Satpathy added.

He also said that the State Government would also raise the Mahanadi issue at the conference of Eastern States called by the Centre on April 16.

Notably, the BJD had last Monday announced about the symposium at a press conference which was attended by senior leaders such as Prasanna Acharya, Debi Prasad Mishra, Sanjay Das Burma and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.

The ruling party is peeved at the inordinate delay by the Centre in announcing the terms of reference of the Mahanadi Tribunal which was notified on March 12 after a directive of the Supreme Court.

The State Assembly had yesterday urged the Centre unanimously to immediately announce Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Mahanadi River Disputes Tribunal to make it functional.

After a marathon day-long debate on the issue of reduced inflow in river Mahanadi due to illegal construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh upstream of the river, the House in view of the consensus opinion and concern unanimously resolved to urge the Central government to issue ToR as per provisions in the Inter State River Water Dispute Act 1956 for making the tribunal functional.

Government Chief Whip Amar Satpathy urged the Speaker to convey the concern of the House to the Centre after reading out the consensus of the House on the issue.

“The Central government and the Chhattisgarh government have betrayed and are taking such steps that would even render the Supreme Court’s orders infructuous. They are deliberately delaying on every account,” Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra had told reporters outside the House.

Earlier in the debate, members cutting across party lines had expressed their concern over the reduction in the flow of water to Mahanadi and said it would not only affect irrigation but also power generation and livelihood of people residing in 15 districts.

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