Lanco work create tension in Cuttack

Cuttack: Public resentment is brewing heavily among residents of eastern part of the city as the private company Lanco executing the laying up of pipelines for the giant public sector oil company Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL) has started spreading pipelines once again after a brief halt of some months. Lanco company has started work on the Mahanadi river bank for spreading pipelines between Gandhipalli and Gatiroutpatna. Thousands of residents of the areas have urged the Mahanadi South Division office of the water resources department and the district administration to stop the work immediately.

It was Sunday, Novemer 20. The Lanco team suddenly came to start work on the stretch spreading from Gandhipalli to Gatiroutpatna. The local people started opposing the work. Lanco a few months ago was halted to excute its work at Hadiapatha, the deltaic region of river Mahanadi, in the heart of Cuttack city following public protest. The people of the city have been opposing the IOCL project apprehending danger to the embankment walls of river Mahanadi. Even opposition parties like the BJP and Congress have joined the people in their protest to create embarrassment for the ruling BJD.

The Mahanadi South Division of the water resources department had given permission to Lanco for laying pipelins for IOCL. However, due to rains and flood conditions Lanco work was stopped from June to October 31. The company, after the expiry of the halt period again applied to restart work. But the dubious company resumed work while no decision was taken on its application for recommencement of work. It is feared that the district administration and the citizens would once again be in a face off situation if Lanco is allowed to go ahead with the work. 

Meanwhile, the Odisha High Court today constituted a five member expert committee headed by S M Pattanaik to study the implications of the IOCL project on the river embankments. The committe would submit its report to the High Court.