Cuttack: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday launched a signature campaign against alleged "injustice" meted out to the state by the Centre over Mahanadi and Polavaram projects by Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh respectively.
Patnaik became the first signatory to the memorandum, which will be submitted to President Pranab Mukherjee. It is proposed to contain at least one signature from all the 87 lakh families of the state, BJD sources said.
Addressing a gathering here, the Chief Minister said the projects on the upstream of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh would severely affect the flow of water to Odisha during non-monsoon days and spell doom for the riverside areas.
"Starting from potable water, the entire livelihood of people of Odisha would be severely jeopardised," he said asserting that he would step up this fight for the interest of state till the last breath of his life.
Soon after Patnaik put his signature on the memorandum, five accomplished farmers drawn from across the state followed suit. Eminent citizens of the city from different walks of life also put their signatures on it following which ministers and other BJD leaders sitting on the dais signed the memorandum.
Patnaik had earlier lamented that Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained silent over Mahanadi water dispute. He had also asserted that his government would move court for protection of the state's interest.
"I had sought the Prime Minister's intervention in the Mahanadi water issue. However, it is a matter of regret that the Prime Minister does not respond to us in this sensitive matter," he had said on Monday addressing the ruling BJD MPs, MLAs and senior leaders.
Stating that the state government has been time and again reminding the Centre about the "adverse impact" of the project by Chhattisgarh on Odisha, Patnaik added that the Centre was not pursuing the issue with sincerity and has been ignoring our demands.