Orissa’s energy plans to trigger water crisis: NGO


Bhubaneswar: As the world celebrated World Water Day Tuesday, a water watchdog said Orissa seriously needs to rethink its energy plans.

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The Orissa government has drafted an action plan to counter climate change with an estimated budget of Rs.17,000 crore to be spent over the next five years.

“As the draft is set to enter its final stage, the government should seriously review its decision, especially the plan on thermal power projects,” Ranjan Panda, convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha told IANS.

According to the state’s draft climate change action plan, Orissa plans to generate around 58,000 MW of electricity mostly from thermal power plants in seven-eight years.

“If the state achieves this capacity, which will be almost 67 percent of the total installed thermal power generation capacity of the country (at current levels), it will require a minimum of 2,297 million cubic metre of water per year”, he said.

“This is enough to meet the domestic water requirement of close to 210 million people. It means domestic water requirement of about six states the size of Orissa,” Panda stressed.

According to him, the state’s rivers, surface water bodies and ground water will be under severe stress.

“Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) has already warned how the government is going to be a ‘water stressed state’ from the current status of ‘water surplus state’ in a decade and half,” Panda said.

“With such an aggressive energy production agenda, which will be mostly to cater to the need of industrial consumers and the national power greed rather than the need of the people, the state will be devoid of basic water security within about a decade. It will trigger water catastrophe” he pointed out.