Orissa flood man made, Congress to file criminal proceedings

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Sambalpur, Oct 16 (UNI) Describing the recent flood in the Mahanadi river system a clear case of criminal negligence, the Orissa Congress has decided to file a criminal proceeding against the state government.

Stating this at a news conference here today, Orissa Pradesh Congress (OPCC) chief Jayadev Jena said the people should be adequately compensated for the loss they had suffered due to negligence of both the state government and the Hirakud dam authorities.

A fact finding team of Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee(OPCC) which visited the Hirakud Dam, described the recent flood that gripped 18 of the 30 districts, as ''man made.'' Mr Jena, who led the team, said the flood situation could have been avoided if the dam authorities had applied their mind and took note of the prediction of the Central Water Commission (CWC).

He alleged that the chief engineer posted at the Hirakud Dam has little knowledge on water management.

The rule-curve framed in 1998 has lost its relevance and in the present changing weather scenario something new should be done to prevent flood in Mahanadi, Congress leader and former Union Minister Srikant Jena, a member of the fact finding team, said.

He further said keeping in view the weather forecast and the depression, if the Hirakud dam authorities had released certain quantity of water before September 18, the devastating flood could have been avoided.

The fact finding team alleged that the government in order to keep sufficient water for industrial use, took the risk of storing water despite deep depression in the Bay of Bengal.

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