Mahanadi Bachao Andolan submits memorandum to Governor listing its demands

The Mahanadi Bachao Andolan, a Cuttack-based people's organisation opposing diversion of water from river Mahanadi to various industries, on Saturday urged Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare to constitute a Mahanadi Commission to conduct a detailed survey on the existing condition of the river and the Hirakud Dam.

A delegation headed by Convener of the Andolan Gouranga Charan Hota met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan here and submitted a memorandum listing their demands.

The Commission, which should be an independent body with necessary powers, should be asked to come out with details on the method of water conservation, distribution, power generation, irrigation, drinking water and existing level of ground water including the steps to arrest the decay of the river and the dam, the Andolan said in its memorandum.

Pending the findings of the Commission, all the agreements signed by the State Government with various industrial houses to draw water from Mahanadi and Hirakud dam, and barrages at Jobra and Naraj should be cancelled with immediate effect, the Andolan demanded.

Apart from Mr. Hota, other members of the delegation include former Ministers Bijoy Mohapatra, Panchanan Kanungo and Sameer Dey, former Member of Parliament Narendra Pradhan, former legislator Umesh Swain and BJP leader Dillip Mallick.

They submitted that mindless exploitation and abuse of Mahanadi, the State's prime river, should be forthwith to save the State from a socio-economic disaster.

The river had an imposing presence in 15 of the State's 30 districts through its various tributaries and distributaries helping over two crore people in irrigating their land, they said.

Apart from maintaining a steady ground water level in the areas of her presence, the river also contributes to various other economic activities, they added.

They opposed the State Government's decisions to allow many companies to draw water from the river saying that there was no surplus water at a time when there was not much for drinking and irrigation purposes.

  • The river is helping over two crore people in irrigating their land, they say
  • State's decision to allow companies to draw water opposed