Kendrapara: Opposition To Proposed Drinking Water Project Intensifies
Kendrapara: The protest against a proposed mega drinking water project on the Kharashrota river near Barigada village in the district has gathered more steam.
Two days after thousands of villagers at Rajkanika formed a two kilometre long human chain to register their opposition to the proposed move by the state government on Monday, they reportedly prevented a team of officials of the district administration from visiting of the site for inspection on Wednesday.
According to sources, the officers of the district administration, accompanied by police personnel and employees of a private company had visited the spot to conduct a survey on the proposed project.
However, the villagers reportedly prevented them from doing any work by raising slogans and sleeping in front of their vehicles to block their way.
“Around 200 people had come for a survey today. We appraised them about our problems and asked them to go back,” said Sarat Rout, a protestor.
“River Kharasrota is our lifeline. People of Kendrapara completely depend on it for their drinking and agricultural requirements. Any attempt to loot water from here for supply in other areas will be prevented democratically. We will convene another meeting on November 22 to intensify our protests,” said another protestor.
The project, villagers fear, would not only result in the drying up of the riverbed, but it would also deprive irrigation to their farmlands and lead to acute drinking water crisis in the area.
On October 16, more than 2000 locals had formed a massive two kilometre-long human chain at Rajkanika to protest against the proposed project.
The two kilometre long human chain organised by social organisation Kharasrota Banchaa Sangrama Samiti (KBSS) stretched from Gadagadi Ghat to Achyutapur along the Cuttack-Chandbali road. The protestors had raised slogans against the state administration, demanding the cancellation of the project.
According to reports, the project, to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 892 crores, is meant for supplying drinking water to Bhadrak and Balasore districts by extracting water from river Kharasrota.