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Dilip Ray rakes up Brahmani river water dispute on social media

 Rourkela MLA and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dilip Ray today said the dispute over river Brahmani and the State government’s passive attitude along with neighbouring governments’ insensitivity have become a cause of concern for people of Odisha.

In a Facebook post, Ray said the governments of the upper riparian states have been insensitive towards the needs of Odisha. “Close on the heels of the Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh, one more dispute is brewing over the use of water of river Brahmani -which has nourished the agro- economic life of the people living along its bank for years”, he added.

Ray said the shrinking water level of Brahmani, largely attributed to the declining water flow in two of its tributaries –Shankh and Koel, is too alarming to ignore. “Rourkela- whose industrial and domestic water needs depends on the Mandira dam built over river Shankh is poised to face severe water crisis in the future. I can foresee a disastrous scenario in the next 15 to 20 years if the problem is not addressed with due seriousness”, he warned.
The legislator said apart from Rourkela, agricultural and industrial activities of five major districts of the state-Sundargarh, Dhenkanal, Angul, Jajpur and Kendrapara also depends on the water of Brahmani. “Along with impacting the agricultural and industrial activities in the downstream area, constrained water flow in Brahmani also has a negative impact on the wildlife ecosystem and biodiversity of the area along the river bank”, Ray stated.
He added, ‘It appears, no cognizance has been taken of the moves taken by the government of Jharkhand- which is building dams upstream -and no assessment has been made of the possible negative impact of the projects on Odisha”.
Ray said the State government appears to be unconcerned about the consequences of the construction of projects, as it has not taken up the issue with the Jharkhand authorities properly.  As lives of millions of people are going to be affected by the dams built by the upper riparian states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand over Mahanadi and Brahmani, it has become incumbent on the State government to articulate a strong stand over the issue to safeguard the interest of the people.
He urged the State government to convene a special session of the Odisha assembly where a discussion on the issue of Mahanadi and Brahmani could be carried out to find out a solution. “It has to be seen if the provisions of the Inter-State Water disputes Act have been complied by the concerned states or any violation has taken place with a negative effect on the people of Odisha”, the legislator said.


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