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Monday, June 09, 2014

Governance, Water Resources, Scam
The Great Odisha Water Scam
"The Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is the lead defaulter with more than 2700 crore rupees alone! What is more shocking is that these dues are pending since several decades. This is arguably India’s greatest Water Scam! As the people of Odisha need an answer to it, the Government of Odisha must immediately commission an independent high level enquiry into the matter and release detailed explanation as to why this huge amount of money has not been collected from the industries."

A Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) release by Ranjan Panda

 

Highlights:

3000 crore water tax pending with industries and commercial complexes from Hirakud alone, since decades!

This is sufficient to fund 600 minor irrigation projects that can provide assured irrigation to at least 12000 farming families.

Get this money first, and then ask for votes during the Panchayat election!

Story of the Scam:

Information available with Water Initiatives Odisha(WIO) reveals that, upto November 2011, industries and commercial establishments were yet to pay near to a whopping 3000 crore rupee water tax and fines for water they have drawn from the Hirakud reservoir.

The Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is the lead defaulter with more than 2700 crore rupees alone! What is more shocking is that these dues are pending since several decades. This is arguably India’s greatest Water Scam!

We urge upon the Goernment of Odisha to immediately commission an independent high level enquiry into the matter and release detailed explanation as to why this huge amount of money has not been collected from the industries and other commercial establishments for so long. The people of the state need an immediate answer on this. We also demand that the guilty be punished with no lenient terms for this Great Odisha Water Scam.

3000 crore of rupees is sufficient to fund at least 600 minor irrigation projects/check dams that can provide assured irrigation to at least 12000 farming families. We urge upon the government of Odisha to immediately recover this amount at the current rates added with penal interest for all the years these amount have remained due, and utilize the same in providing assured irrigation to drought prone villages in and around the Hirakud reservoir; where the families displaced by this dam half a century back are still suffering water scarcity. We urge, get this money back first and then go to ask for votes to these villages.

WIO has been asking the Government of Odisha to release a status paper on all industries and commercial complexes that have defaulted paying water tax and fines from all water sources of the state. We once again urge upon the Government to reveal all these information; immediately take steps to recover the money; use that in providing irrigation to the farmers of the state and punish the guilty officials and industries/commercial establishments.

(Ranjan Panda is the convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO). Mr. Panda can be contacted by email: ranjanpanda@gmail.com)

       

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