Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress on Thursday staged a walkout in the Odisha Assembly, expressing their displeasure over Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro’s reply on the devastating flood situation.

Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan had alleged that the flood was man-made and that the Government has let this happen to influence the coming Panchayat elections by undertaking massive reconstruction work during the post-flood period.

However Revenue and Disaster Management Minister, Shri Surya Narayan Patro denied the Opposition’s allegation.

“The flood in the State was an impact of the climate change at global level. The change is certainly man made and not the flood”, Shri Patro said.

Adding more Mr. patro said, the successive floods during the month of September was due to the impact of a low pressure. Though there was inadequate rainfall in the State during the month of July and August, all of a sudden the State experienced heavy downpour due to a low pressure.

The heavy rainfall at upper catachment areas of the river in Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand region flooded Mahanadi river system, Shri Patro said, claiming that there was no mismanagement of flood waters in Hirakud dam.

“Keeping in view the safety of the Dam, 59 gates of Hirakud were opened to discharge excess water which led to a devastating flood in Mahanadi delta region,” he said.

Similarly, another low pressure-induced rainfall also caused heavy second spell of flood in the rivers of Subarnarekha, Baitarani and Brahmani, Shri Patro said.

Shri Patro advised the Opposition not to “shed crocodile tears” for the State but rather to go to Delhi and persuade UPA Government to release the flood assistance sought by the State.