Cong delegation to visit Chhattisgarh, proposes all-party meet

Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress today proposed to convene an all-party meeting in Odisha to discuss the construction of irrigation projects coming up in the upstream of river Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, which they fear might harm the interests of their state.

“I propose to call a meeting of representatives of all political parties of the state to discuss and take appropriate steps on the Mahanadi issue,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The letter was written before they start their their visit this evening to places where irrigation projects are coming up in the upstream of river Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh.

Earlier on July 7, Mishra had written a letter to Patnaik requesting him to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the matter.

Congress called a meeting after Mishra’s letter to the CM went unresponded by then state government.

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had yesterday said “Congress demands that Naveen Patnaik take an all-party-delegation to Delhi. Along with the leaders of all political parties, the Chief Minister should meet the Prime Minister and apprise him of the Mahanadi matter.”

Meanwhile, the ruling BJD also announced to send a high level delegation to Chhattisgarh to collect information about the number of barrages and dams built on the upper catchments of Mahanadi and other projects which are in the pipeline.

BJD Spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said the delegation would be led by Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya.

“The delegation, after its return to the state, will prepare a comprehensive report and submit to the Central Water Commission (CWC),” he said.