Opposition BJP and Congress on Sunday dubbed the medium flood in Mahanadi river system as “man-made" and result of “gross mismanagement" by the state’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government.
However, BJD leader and School and Mass Education minister S R Dash rejected the opposition parties allegation and claimed that the state government successfully managed the flood situation in Mahanadi delta region and is now focusing on the Subarnarekha system. The opposition parties made the allegation after their respective teams visited several flood affected areas in the 13 districts where more than seven lakh people have been affected in the deluge. Around 5.5 lakh people are still marooned in the Mahanadi floods, officials said.
Coming down heavily on the state government, BJP state general secretary P Harichandan said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s call of zero casualty was “hollow" as the calamity has so far claimed at least six lives. I call the Mahanadi flood as man-made as the government utterly failed to manage the Hirakud reservoir. The government has no knowledge how much water was being flown to Odisha from the upper catchment areas in Chhattisgarh, Harichandan told reporters here.
Though the state government claimed that it was prepared to tackle the calamity, its “failure" was visible when people were denied basic amenities like food, drinking water and medicine in the marooned villages, he alleged and claimed that flood situation worsened due to lack of coordination with Chhattisgarh. He claimed the violation of the ‘rule curve’ in Hirakud dam water management by the state government, was evident for which the life and property of the people were pushed to danger.
The BJP leader said the rule curve for water management of Hirakud was made in 1962 and later amended in 1988. It has been a longtime that the rule curve provisions are not changed according to changing situation. The saffron party also alleged that the situation was more or less same in north Odisha which has now been hit by a major flood following rains.
The BJP demanded a long-term plan to fight the flood situation in the state. Congress leader Nishikant Mishra alleged that people in many places were denied food and polythene which exposes the state government’s “failure" in managing the flood and relief operation. “The flood is man-made as the deluge was caused due to the government’s mismanagement," he said.
Senior Congress MLA Suresh Routray on Sunday rushed to Balianta area with relief materials and distributed food and other essentials.
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