Just within a few weeks since the Covid-19 virus started spreading from Wuhan, China, in December 2019, it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), consequently affecting lives in 204 countries in varying degrees – some low, others moderate while about a dozen countries seriously affected. Within a span of two weeks, the total positive cases globally have seen 350 per cent increase to touch 2.3 million with death counts crossing 1,50,000 as of April 15, 2020.
It can be argued that water resources development and management in Odisha is governed by whims rather than institutions. The election manifesto (2014) of the party ruling the state presently promised to add 10.00 lakh hectare (ha.) land of irrigation coverage in next five years. This is the only document which can be referred to as 'perspective plan in water sector' so far.
Early this month, the resolution of Union Cabinet to constitute a special purpose vehicle- Polavaram Project Authority (PPA)- has caught Odisha government napping. Instead, the news has attracted cautious criticism from state government. With General election in full swing and Telengana Statehood is commencing- it is beyond obvious that political parties, , leader of oppositions including incumbent State and Union governments would left no stone unturned to gain political mileage of blame game. It is less important to read between the lines on timing of PPA.
While the world is gradually moving towards green economy, Orissa is seen to be embracing brown economy. Depending on the likes of Vedanta, POSCO, batteries of sponge Iron and coal companies which have demonstrated negligible social and environmental sensitivities, the State government intends to allocate exclusive water for such industries. On August 5, the state cabinet has approved a proposal to create a 'water conservation fund' from monetary contribution of industries which use the water from October to June.