With the Odisha government apprehensive of slowing down of the water flow in the Mahanadi river system due to construction of projects on the upstream by Chhattisgarh government, environmentalists have expressed concern over its possible impact on the eco-system.
The concerns were expressed by Citizen Action Forum and Foundation Ecological Security when they met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
They urged the Chief Minister to raise the ecology issue at the tripartite meeting on Mahanadi water scheduled to be held on September 17 at New Delhi.
"Slowing down of water flow in River Mahanadi will have serious impact on the whole eco-system of Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Mahanadi Elephant Reserve and Gharial Research and Conservation Unit (GRACU)," the two organisations said in a memorandum to the Chief Minister.
Apart from affecting people in 15 districts of Odisha, the slowing down of water would have its adverse impact on the mangrove forests at Bhitarkania National Park, Mahanadi Delta region and also Gahirmatha, the world’s biggest rookery for the rare Olive Ridley Turtles.
The two bodies also demanded cancellation of all environment clearances to the projects, construction by Chhattisgarh Government on the upstream of Mahanadi.
As River Mahanadi flows through the rare ecosystem of the country – Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and the state government should not forget to raise the issue at the tripartite meeting, they said.
Satkosia also houses a tiger reserve which is spread over four districts – Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh through which the Mahanadi river flows, they pointed out.