Thursday, June 7, 2012

‘Only locals to use Suktel project water’

Bhubaneswar ‘Only locals to use Suktel project water’
THURSDAY, 07 JUNE 2012 22:32
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Let the people of the area have free access to the water resources. If the Government wants to execute the Lower Suktel Project, then it should sign an agreement with people of the locality stating it clear that water would be only meant for the people and not for any industry, opined noted environmental activist Prafulla Samantara.
He was addressing hundreds of villagers of the submerged areas in the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project at Gadshakar Dungripali, 40 km from here at a meeting organised by Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad on Tuesday morning.
Small barrages should be constructed which would use the water resources properly besides meeting the drinking water need of Balangir town people. If the Government wants to implement the Lower Suktel project, then the displaced people must get proper rehabilitation and compensation package first, Samantara opined.
He said a report of UNDP has described the Suktel Irrigation Project as economically unviable. Expressing anguish over the corruption in the project, Samantara demanded that money should be recovered from the corrupt officials found guilty and exemplary punishment be given to them.
When people in urban areas are not ready to vacate their encroached land, why people of the area would quit their settlements for the benefit of the urban people? asked Kosal Kranti Dal president Pramod Mishra.
People of the area should put forth their concerns before the intellectuals and different organisations of Balangir town so that they could also help to find a solution to the issue, Mishra suggested.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured us to send a team here to discuss our problem in 2007 but so far none has come to listen to us, rued Uday Singh Thakur, a local. Before leaving the place we should think twice as once we leave the  land given to us by our forefathers, there would be no place to stay for us. We must fight for our area. Among others Lower Suktel Budi Anchal sangram Parishad president Ghunu Sahu, secretary Satya Banchhor and VP Pareshwar Rajput spoke.
However, in a related development on Tuesday morning in Balangir, members of lower Suktel Action Committee led by Arun Mishra and Gopalji Panigrahi staged a demonstration before the DRDA office and urged the newly elected Zilla Parishad member to pass a resolution to expedite the implementation of the project.
“We demand speedy implementation of the Lower Suktel irrigation project. However, let the displaced people be given adequate compensation and proper rehabilitation first,” said Arun Mishra of Samajwadi Party, adding that they are going to paralyze the District Collector’s office from June 11.

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