ONI Bureau: On a day when his senior party leader Bijoy Mohapatra waged a war on the centre on the issue of Mahanadi Water Tribunal, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan hit out at all critics, saying they are either ignorant or trying to take political advantage from the issue.
“There is an attempt to malign the Centre on the issue of formation of tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. But, we all know how matters remain pending at the tribunals for 8-10 years to 30 years. The Centre is mulling a law, which would ensure that tribunals give verdict within 3 years,” said the Minister.
“In order to hide their own failure and pass on the blame, some people are trying to fish in the troubled waters. But, they must understand that it’s necessary that a resolution would be found through Tribunals”, he added.
“The state government has already approached the court on this issue. If the apex court orders to form a tribunal, nobody can stop it,” he said.
While responding to queries of journalists on the issue of closure of Kalma barrage gates by Chhattisgarh government, Pradhan said such disputes are very common whenever there is a water sharing between states. “We should not treat each other as enemies. This is not India vs Pakistan. In a federal structure, states must sit together and find a solution to the problems, he added.
Dharmendra Pradhan urged the BJD Government to rise to the occasion and make all efforts not to stop dialogue with Chhattisgarh government. He also sought proper utilisation of Mahanadi water in the lower catchment area below the Hirakud dam, while efforts should be made to ensure flow of water in the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi.