Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Orissa Government asking it to submit details about the alleged “man-made” floods hitting the State in last August-September.

The disaster had officially claimed over 80 lives and damaged houses and agricultural lands in 21 out of 30 districts of the State. The NHRC’s direction came following petition filed by India Media Centre, a voluntary organization based in Bhubaneswar. Water Resources Secretary, Chief Engineer of Irrigation Department and Hirakud Dam Authorities are also made respondents in the petition by India Media Centre.

The NHRC’s decision has once again put the State Government in an embarrassing situation. Earlier, Governor Mr. Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, while expressing his concerns over the alleged flood situation, had suggested for constituting an inquiry committee “to go the roots” of the flood. When asked about the NHRC report, Chief Secretary Mr. B.K. Patnaik said, “We are yet to get the copy of the direction. Once we get it, we will send our replies.”