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Dilip Kumar

Kendrapara: The proposed mega water project on river Kharasrota in the district has once again faced stiff opposition with hundreds of local women under the banner of Kharasrota Banchao Sangram Samiti (KBSS) on Sunday observing 'Jal Satyagraha' in the river at Bharigada village under Rajkanika block of the district.

The samiti members launched the protest in knee-deep water in the river while vowing to oppose any attempt to divert water from Kharasrota.

The protesters demanded that before taking up the project for diversion of water from the river, the government should initiate steps for construction of a project in the lower catchment of the river for supply of drinking water in Aul and Rajkanika.

"We will do everything to save our river. If required, we will not hesitate to sacrifice our life. Kharasrota is the lifeline of our locality.  We will not allow any attempts to dry up the river," said Sabita Baraja, a member of KBSS.

"We request the government in folded hands to save the Kharasrota. This our legitimate demand," said Sabita Behera, another member.

If water is extracted for the mega pipe water project, the flow of water would decrease and the salinity of the water will increase which will cause severe damage to agriculture. It would also lead to acute water scarcity in the two blocks- Aul and Rajkanika, locals alleged.

According to reports, the State government has proposed to construct a mega water project at a cost of Rs 868 crore to supply water to Bhadrak and Balasore district by extracting water from Kharasrota River.

Earlier on November 16, more than 2000 locals formed a massive two kilometre-long human chain as a mark of protest against the mega project. The KBSS has been spearheading the protest since the government's declaration.

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