Sunday, January 19, 2014

SUKTEL OPPONENTS’ STIR BEFORE ASSEMBLY FROM FEB 3 Monday, 20 January 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

SUKTEL OPPONENTS’ STIR BEFORE ASSEMBLY FROM FEB 3
Monday, 20 January 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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The members of the Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad led by its president Ghunu Sahu and vice-president Udaya Singh Thakur on Sunday vowed to stall construction of the Suktel dam in Magurbeda.
They informed that the anti-project outfit will hold a dharna before the State Assembly from February 3 as well as before the Parliament in New Delhi in February, protesting a recent bid of the district administration to start construction of the controversial dam project.
 “We have been opposing the construction of the dam in the Suktel over last 15 years. We are in favour of zero displacement and small barrages which would bring development in the agriculture sector in the area,” said Parishad vice-president Thakur addressing media persons at Gadshankar Dungripali, 20 km from here.
Our political representatives are not least concerned about our difficulties if the dam is constructed in the Suktel. Hence, it is the displaced villagers, who have to save them and take a decision that goes in their interest, said Thakur.
The old Land Acquisition Act has lapsed and the new Land Acquisition Bill, 2013 has been enacted where in a lot of power has been vested with the Gram Sabha to decide the fate of any project in a locality. Once the village Gram Sabha approves of a project, then only it can be moved forwarded, Thakur explained, demanding the implementation of the new law.
He charged that till date financial irregularities worth Rs 100 crore have been committed with regard to the execution of the lower Suktel irrigation project. In due course of time, the total corruption might increase to Rs 400 crore, he apprehended.
Dinger Kumbhar, a member of the outfit, said that the Government was misleading the people on the total number of villages to be affected by the dam project. A total of 142 villages, including 86 totally and 56 partially, would be affected in the Suktel irrigation project, he clarified, demanding that the Government should refrain from going ahead with the dam which not at all in the interest of the poor villagers and agriculturists.
Meanwhile, Balangir district Collector M Muthu Kumar along with SP Ravi Prakash and other Suktel project officials held a discussion with the villagers at Pardhiapali and listened to their complaints. Later, the Collector exuded confidence that the construction of the dam project would continue without any problem.

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