Sharmili Mallick

Seen as a shot in BJP's arms in Kendrapada before the coming Panchayat polls, hundreds of BJD and Congress workers from the district, including Ramnagar and Kharinasi panchayats under Mahakalapada Assembly Constituency, on Tuesday joined BJP in the presence of former MP and party’s National vice-president Baijayant Panda.

The BJD and Congress leaders joined the saffron party at a Mishran Parba held at Garapur in the district yesterday.

Tarunakanti Kanjilal, the Congress General Secretary of Mahakalapada block, has also joined the party during the event.
BJP's Kendrapara district president, Kishore Kumar Panda, and several other BJP leaders were present at the function.

Meanwhile, when a whirlpool in the river Kharasrota is brewing for the ruling BJD in the politically sensitive district, and the 'Kharasrota Bachao Andolan' gaining traction from the likes of waterman Rajinder Singh, the former 4-time Kendrapada MP and BJP National VP Baijayant Panda lambasted at the State government over the proposed mega drinking water project at Bharigada in Rajkanika.

"This is anti-people," said Baijayant. Extending his support to the 'Kharasrota Bachao Andolan', the former MP faulted the State government's  approach in going for the mega project. 

“The way the project is being executed is wrong and anti-people. Firstly, there is a requirement of holding public hearings for such big projects. But government has violated the norms. The State government has started the project without even consulting with the local population through public hearings. It is a major crime,” he charged the BJD government after holding discussions with the functionaries of Kharasrota Sangram Samiti.

“The apprehensions of the local residents need to be addressed. The local leaders held a series of discussions with the district administration and stressed on the need to measure the quantity of water flow level in the river during April-May months, the time when the water level happens to be at the lowest. Even at the peak of monsoon now, the water level is abysmal. Just imagine, what would then be the scenario in the summer,” Panda asked.

The mega drinking water project at Bharigada is facing stiff opposition from the locals. The stir has also created a major law and order problem for the district administration recently. On August 12, as many as 24 local villagers were arrested for opposing the project.

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