Hidden interests of industries behind Mahanadi water row: Cong



Raipur :  Chhattisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel today alleged that the dispute over the Mahanadi River water between the Chhattisgarh and the Odisha regimes has less to do with irrigation and drinking water but more with the underlying interests of industries in the two states. “The Chhattisgarh Government has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing power plants with a capacity of 49,000 MW. On the other hand, the Odisha Government has signed an MoU for setting up power plants with 60,000 MW potential. Both regimes are pulling out all the stops to provide water from the Mahanadi River for these projects,” Mr Baghel told a press conference here. Pointing out that the construction of barrages on the Mahanadi River being pushed by the Chhattisgarh Government is aimed at providing water only to industries, he said the Congress is not opposed to building of barrages but demands that the National Water Policy is adhered to with the first priority being to utilise water for agriculture and potable water purposes. Replying to a query, Mr Baghel said that the state government has the responsibility to take all political parties concerned together over the issue. Meanwhile, he refused to respond to a question about agitation launched by the Chhattisgarh Janata Congress – floated recently by former chief minister and erstwhile Congress leader Ajit Jogi – in this regard stating that he would not comment on other regional parties.

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