Friday, June 12, 2015

WIO's Mahanadi River Basin Update - 12th June 2015!

Mahanadi River Basin Update – 12th June 2015
(An occasional update from ‘Mahanadi River Basin Initiative’ of Water Initiatives Odisha and Mahanadi River Waterkeeper)

Theme: Inter Linking of Rivers

Odisha Government is Right in Opposing the Mahanadi-Godavari Link Project

We have learnt that the Government of Odisha has opposed the Mahanadi-Godavari River Linking Project proposed by the Central Government.  This is a right move and we welcome this decision of the state government.

Mahanadi is already a stressed River.   Accelerated urbanisation, increased mining and blind promotion of coal fired power plants has already dried up the River.  In almost eight to nine months in a year the River is not able to maintain even Minimum Ecological Flow.  Irrigation as well as drinking water projects are not able to meet targets and number of conflicts between different user groups are growing by the day in the entire basin.  Any diversion of water from the Mahanadi will bring more chaos and misery to the basin communities.

The feasibility studies of the river linking projects have always remained controversial.  Neither states nor independent experts have been taken into confidence by successive governments at the centre. A link that involves large dams and other construction activities will have huge impact on ecology of the river system.  Further the plan will also lead to social unrest as large number of people will be displaced.  Resettlement and rehabilitation of project oustees has always been mired with controversies and states have miserably failed in this.  The project will therefore not be feasible.

Mahanadi is has been continuously marketed as a ‘Water Surplus’ river to attract investment in mining and power sectors.  However, the data that are available at public domain are old and obsolete.  Most of the documents in government that one can access in public domain date back either to 1991 or 2001.  This is completely unacceptable and speaks of the obsolete systems in place. 

We have urged upon the Government of Odisha to come out with a Status Paper on the water availability in the River Mahanadi with updated information. In this, the government should closely and actively work with the Chhattisgarh government.

Some of the news coverage on this update can be found at:

We encourage you to follow our updates at the following places:

Twitter: @MahanadiRiver


Our Group “Save Rivers to Save Civilizations” at

Thanks for your continued support to all our initiatives.

Look forward to listen from you and to work together.

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda

Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, India

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Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader


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Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two and half decades now.

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