State Govt.’s calculated move to keep the people of Odisha in dark on Mahanadi Water Dispute issue, exposed through RTI.
On the eve of Tripartite Meeting invited by Uma Bharati, Minister for Water Resources, Govt. of India which was held at New Delhi on 17.9.16 to discuss on Mahanadi Water Dispute between Govt. of Odisha and Chhatisgarh, Sri Nabin Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha has made a public announcement seeking suggestion from the people of Odisha for resolution of the dispute and save Mahanadi. Accordingly, a number of organisations, political parties and Civil Society Groups stand in queue for hours together to submit their views to Chief Minister from 14th to 16th Sept. As reported by many of my friends who had gone to submit their views, the Chief Minister conveyed them thanks without shaking hand and did not discuss anything with them even not responded to the issues raised by them. On 17.10.16, after tripartite meeting is over, Sri Nabin Patnaik released a press release in New Delhi expressing his displeasure over the discussion and declared it as failure.
On 19.10.2016, RTI Application was submitted to the Dept. of General Administration and Water Resources seeking the following information.
i.Provide information about details of decision taken at Govt. level to seek public opinion and suggestion by Chief Minister on Mahanadi Water dispute issue along with copy of file noting and copy of press release.
ii. Provide name of the organizations that met Chief Minister personally and presented their suggestions with date of their meeting.
iii. Provide name of the officials who were in charge of compiling the suggestions given by different organizations.
iv. Provide copy of the suggestions given by different organisations which were included in report / document prepared for presentation by Chief Minister in tripartite meeting held at New Delhi on 17.9.16.
v. Provide name of the officials who prepared the documents for presentation by Chief Minister in tripartite meeting.
vi. Provide copy of the documents which was presented in tripartite meeting for discussion with Chhatisgarh Govt. facilitated by Uma Bharati, Minister for Water resources.
vii. Provide information about details of outcome of the tripartite meeting and copy of press release given by Chief Minister.
On 26.10.16, the PIO, office of Engineer-in-Chief, Water Resources provided the information. After scrutinising the information, it was found that the information was found incomplete. The PIO has denied many information. The PIO has just supplied copy of the submissions made by different groups and organisations, their names and name of two officers who scrutinised the documents.
But the PIO has not supplied the following most important information which is crucial to be disseminated among the people of Odisha to understand the details of steps taken by State Govt. to fight out Mahanadi Water dispute issue.
A. Documents which was presented by Chief Minister in tripartite meeting for discussion with Chhatisgarh Govt. facilitated by Uma Bharati, Minister for Water resources.
B. Copy of the suggestions given by different organisations which were included in report / document prepared for presentation by Chief Minister in tripartite meeting held at New Delhi on 17.9.16.
C. Information about details of outcome of the tripartite meeting and copy of press release given by Chief Minister.
A. It is fact that the State Govt. does not have any information about Mahanadi water dispute issue. Nabin Patnaik is just befooling the people by creating war hysteria against Chhatisgarh among the people to garner vote for Panchayat election. The people of Odisha should be conscious about nefarious game plan of BJD Govt.
B. If the State Govt. is really interested to fight out Mahanadi water dispute issue, then the Govt. must come forward to take the people in confidence and present all the information in public domain.
C. Mahanadi issue is used as strategy to dilute attention of the people from malnutrition, child death due to Govt. negligence, huge corruption and various scams, health hazard.