Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday charged Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal government with misleading the people on Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.
Addressing a gathering in Cuttack on completion of four years of his government, he said the Odisha government is responsible for the Mahanadi issue, having admitted on the floor of the Assembly that over half of the surplus Mahanadi water flows unused into the sea.
“In the Assembly, the state government has accepted that more than 50 per cent of Mahanadi water drains into the sea. The state government failed to utilise the surplus and unused Mahanadi water for the benefit of the farmers,” he said, hitting out that the Naveen Patnaik government for not harnessing the state’s other five major rivers for the state’s benefit.
He said the Central government tried to resolve the Mahanadi issue, but the state government did not cooperate.
Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had tried to resolve the water sharing dispute and the proposal to constitute a tribunal was also discarded, said Modi.
Modi said that several irrigation projects were delayed for so long.
“Why the state government has delayed various irrigation projects and pushed up the project costs by 4 to 5 times? Why have the farmers of Odisha been left in the lurch? However, the Central government has taken the responsibility of bringing a change for farmers and ensuring water reaches their farmland,” he asked.
He also attacked the BJD government for lack of health facilities in the state.
Holding the Patnaik government responsible for farmers’ plight, Modi said his government is relentlessly working for the development of farmers across India but the Odisha government has failed in its part to do the same.