Mahanadi Issue : Dharmendra Pradhan Slams BJD Govt


Cuttack : BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a dig at the BJD government in Odisha of injecting fear among people on Mahanadi issue and slammed a party leader for issuing threat to snap water supply to IOCL refinery at Paradip.

“The BJD government wants to create an atmosphere of fear in the state over Mahanadi river water issue instead of sincerely trying to meet the water requirement of people,” Pradhan, the petroleum minister, alleged here.

He was speaking at a meeting held here on the occasion of Narendra Modi government’s completion of three years in office in the presence of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

While Odisha’s right over due share of Mahanadi water has to be secured, the BJD government should open Hirakud reservoir gates to meet the requirement of water in downstream of the river in Odisha, he said.

Pradhan also slammed Cuttack City BJD MLA Debashis Samantray for threatening to snap water supply to Paradip Refinery of IOCL.

Samantray had threatened to stop water supply to IOCL refinery. IOCL that draws Mahanadi water from near Jobra reservoir in the city for its Paradip project.

“The elected representative (Samantray) is out to spread goondaraj in the name of agitation and he is trying to be a new spokesman of the party, which is controlled by the bureaucrats,” the Union Minister said.

Pradhan said that IOCL draws water from the river near Cuttack following scrutiny of Orissa High Court. He said the High Court in April 2015 allowed IOCL to use Mahanadi water under certain conditions while disposing of a PIL.

“IOCL has complied with the conditions set by High Court,” Pradhan said and listed the contributions made by IOCL for Cuttack in lieu of water it draws from Mahanadi.

He said IOCL has deposited Rs 10 crore for development of Sishu Bhawan (government paediatric hospital), Rs 3 crore for city traffic management, five high-tech ambulances with running cost for three years for Rs 26 crore, Rs 298 crore for dredging of Mahanadi river, etc.