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‘State in a hurry to finalise water development document'

Staff Reporter

Water Resource Department urged to extend last date for eliciting public views


Communities in Orissa did not know much about the IWRM concept: Odisha Water Forum

Studies show that river water suffered heavy metal pollution


BHUBANESWAR: Civil society groups on Thursday alleged that the State government was in a hurry to finalise the guiding document for the Orissa Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Investment Programme (OIIAWMIP), which would be detrimental to interest of people.

“Given the importance of water sector and issues and gravity of the implications of Integrated Water Resource Management roadmap, critical response must be given by the civil society.

However considering the length of this framework and gravity of the subject, more time is required,” said Priyabrata Satpathy of Odisha Water Forum (ODF).

He said the Water Resource Department should extend the last date for eliciting public views on the framework by at least three months from the present deadline of November 10.

The ODF charged that consultation process of the department was half hearted. “There is only an invitation mentioned in the website, which is accessed by very few. There is neither any advertisement nor any press release issued to invite responses from the citizens,” Mr. Satpathy said.

Larger issues

The document speaks involvement of pani panchayats in detail, but their federation has not been consulted.

The ODF said communities in Orissa did not know much about the IWRM concept, and no step had been taken by the WoDR to sensitise people.

Studies indicated that river water suffered heavy metal pollution like hexavalent chromium and manganese through mining, the forum said adding that without taking a complete overview of mainstream and alternate discourses, preparation of plan involving a few was very risky and dangerous.

“The report should address the larger issues of pollution, food security, ground water and climate change. The perspective of Keonjhar, one of most intensely mined districts of the country, should be taken into consideration.

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