Odisha: Two day long National Consultation on “Mahanadi: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” starts at Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar: The two day long national consultation on ‘Mahanadi – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow’ started in Bhubaneswar today. At the first day of the consultation a six member coordination team has been formed under the Chairmanship of Justice V Gopal Swamy Gowda. The team includes members from both Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Speaking in the inaugural session of the consultation Magsasy award winner Dr Rajendra Singh said that “not river-linking but linking people with river will solve problems of river and the society. Mr Singh further warned that rivers must not be played with and the proposed river linkage idea will cause catastrophe of immense magnitude. He suggested to work on rejuvenation of rivers by protecting them from polluters, encroachers, sand mafia & by ensuring minimum environmental flow in every river.
Former Supreme Court Judge Justice V Gopal Gowda who was the Chief Guest of the event said “I confess that without really understanding about the rights of the river & for that matter rights of the people I have spent 42years in judiciary”. He suggested that problems of this kind and problems of the rivers must be taken up with the Prime Minister & water minister and demand. He strongly suggested that Article 262 needs amendment. He also suggested that Article 263 also needs to be revisted. Justice Hegde demanded that disputes of this kind must not be delayed in settling. He adovacted for constitution of river board with real experts and scrap the Tribunals which are taking decades to resolve the disputes”.
After inaugural session the first day of consultation had three technical sessions where experts from different parts of India made their presentations. At the end of the day a six member committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Justice V Gopal Swamy Gowda to coordinate Mahanadi’s interests.
The consultation started with lighting of lamps by Justice V Gopal Gowda, Jalpurush Dr. Rajendra Singh, Dr. Aurobinda Behera, (former Principal Secretary, Govt of Orissa), Sj P K Jena, (Principal Secretary, Water Resources Dept Govt of Orissa), Dr D K Ray, Former Chairman, OERC & Chairman Odisha Environment Congress, people from Ganga, Krishna, Yamuna, Godavari and other rivers are those amongst who are participated.
The second day of the consultation will have more technical session and the final session on way forward.
Everyone appreciated the initiative by Sudarshan Das & his team bringing people from all river basins to one location to address the Mahanadi issue.

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