July 26, 2016
D Bandyopadhyay speaks during a discussion on construction of barrages on Mahanadi River affecting farmers
I have got three short questions. I don’t have a lengthy speech.
Question 1 (Centre-State and inter-State relations)
There is a 1983 water-sharing agreement between the States of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh dealing with the arrangement on Mahanadi River. Now, at the behest and the request of the Chhattisgarh Government, this inter-State agreement is being encroached upon and bypassed by the Centre. There is a breakdown of all the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution – this is not cooperative federalism, of which we hear all the time, it is definitely a ‘not operative’ federalism.
Were consultations held with all relevant stakeholders, including officials from both State Governments, before the Centre decided on the matter? What were the inputs given by the Chhattisgarh Government that merited a unilateral move on the part of the Central Government?
Question 2 (on inter-State agreement)
Whether the State of Chhattisgarh is in breach of the inter-State contract signed in 1983 between Odisha and the undivided Madhya Pradesh? Does the Mahanadi basin fall within the ambit of this contract? What steps will be taken by the Centre to ensure that the spirit of federalism will be maintained between the two States in resolving this issue?
Question 3 (on CWC clearance and environmental assessment)
What is the nature of the project and whether Central Water Commission’s (CWC) clearance was obtained for the project? Has the Centre conducted any study to assess the environmental impact of constructing new barrage projects on the river Mahanadi and if so, are these studies available in the public domain?