Bhubaneswar, Apr 30 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today laid the foundation for the construction of two barrages at a cost of Rs 35 crore over the river Mahendra Tanaya at Dambapur and Champapur in Gajapati district.
Mr Patnaik decided to construct the barrages to give a fitting reply to Andhra Pradesh Government's decision to construct a Rs 127 crore project over the river in Srikakulam district despite strong opposition from Orissa.
But Leader of Opposition in Orissa Assembly and senior Congress leader J B Patnaik described the foundation as a ''farce'' and said such venture would not have any impact on Andhra Pradesh.
He said only a dam and not a barrage could give a befiftting reply to Andhra Pradesh.
He said a reply could be given to Andhra Pradesh if Orissa could use the water flowing inside the state.
The Congress leader suggested the government to construct dam and a reservoir over river Tanaya and over Vanshdarha to counter the move of Andhra Pradesh.
He said the barrages could check the flood water and would not have any impact on Andhra Pradesh.
Mr Patnaik said the Union government had already approved the proposal to construct a dam over river Mahendra Tanaya way back in 2002 but the Orissa government, instead of implementing it was going to construct a barrage 30 km upstream from Parlakhemundi over the river.
He said the Andhra Pradesh government had made an elaborate plan to use the flood water of the river through a diversion wire to irrigate 24,000 acre of land.
It would also use the water of Vansdhara through a river cut near Katraguda.
Once Andhra Pradesh started using the water of these two rivers for its own purposes, it would establish their rights and nothing could be done against them.
The Congress leader demanded the government to construct dam and a reservoir over river Vansdhara at the confluence of Chauldhua and and another at Kaithapadar over river Mahendra Tanaya.
He also demanded the government to strengthened Kaipathar reservoir.
The dam would not only meet the drinking water requirement and irrigation problem of Gajpati and Ganjam district but could also meet the requirement of industrial units in these areas, he said.
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