TNI Bureau: Without fearing the presence of Armed Police force, the activists of Budi Anchal Sangrami Parishad (BASP), an outfit that has been opposing the proposed lower Suktel irrigation project, stalled the construction work at Magurbeda village in Balangir district on Thursday.
Lower Suktel action committee, which has been spearheading a movement to expedite the project work, had earlier called a Balangir bandh followed by a hunger strike in protest against delay in starting the work.
Consequently,The state government had given September 27 deadline to start the work for Lower Suktel irrigation project in KBK region instead of prolonged resistance from the villagers facing displacement.
Officials with three platoons of police force went to the site to start work according to Government’s oder but when the chief construction engineer R C Padhi began puja to start the work, the BASP activists stalled it.
“The outfit members raised slogans and didn’t allow workers to begin work. The work has been stopped temporarily. We will wait for further orders from the government in this regard to start work,” said additional district magistrate S Minz.
For the suuperters of lower Suktel Project, however, Balangir has only 3% irrigated lands; and the Suktel project will definitely benefit if it completes in time. The project promises to irrigate 31,000 hectare of land in drought-prone Balangir and Subarnapur districts.
Overall, it will be a tough decision on the part of the government to construct the lower Suktel project and satisfy both sides.