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Suktel displaced begin ‘Jal Satyagraha’ for proper aid, rehab

Bolangir, Sep 26: Aggrieved displaced villagers of the Lower Suktel project on Monday started an indefinite Jan Satyagraha at Khagsabahal village, 25 km from here, in the Suktel river.

Members of the Bolangir Action Committee led by Gopalji Panigrahi started the agitation protesting the State Government’s slipshod attitude in providing adequate compensation as per the Government policy.

The villagers are demanding implementation of Land Acquisition Policy (LAP) 2013 for the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project and adequate compensation and proper rehabilitation of the displaced people as the LAP 2013.

“We are not opposing the project. What we have been demanding for years is adequate compensation by implementing LAP-2013 for the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project and proper rehabilitation of the displaced people. But nothing tangible has happened as yet. Hence, we start an indefinite stir to put pressure on the Government,” said Panigrahi.

However, another group of villagers of Khuntpali-led by Upendra Sahu also stage a stir there demanding that compensation be first paid to the project oustees before any construction work started.

In 2012, we supported Bolangir Action Committee agitation for the Lower Suktel project. However, we were let down by Gopalji Panigrahi and others. They have come to befool us by ignoring our genuine concerns, alleged the villagers of Khuntpali before Balangir Sub- Collector Bimal Prasad Mohanty at the dharna site.

Even, members of Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Paishad, another outfit which has spearheaded a 16-year long campaign, never undertook the Jal Satyagraha.

Meanwhile, Health, Fire and ODRAF teams, besides police were deployed to avert any eventuality. 

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