Lower Suktel Project displaced demand one-time compensation, stage dharna

Bolangir: After a brief lull, the Bolangir district Collector on Monday tried to end the deadlock by resuming construction work of the Lower Suktel project forgetting that the displaced people had earlier stalled the work over non-fulfillment of their demands.

Tension ran high at the project site today after the displaced people staged demonstration and detained Collector and the chief engineer of the project (Collector) at the site.

A few months ago, the displaced locals had halted construction work of the dam demanding immediate rehabilitation and one-time compensation as per the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

“Construction work at the site has been stopped since July this year. They have come here to resume the work and we opposed it. We want our demands to be met first; and want one-time compensation instead of instalments,” said a displaced, Pradeep Gartia.

Meanwhile, the chief engineer Prabhat Ranjan Rout said that such protests would lead to delay in completion of the project.

“We had started the construction work but within a few minutes, people came and staged demonstration. Most of the displaced people are working at the site. We are getting hardly around 280 days in a year to work and if such protests continue, the project will definitely get delayed,” said Rout.

Till last filing of this report, the villagers had released the Collector and chief engineer and sat on dharna under the tent set up by the district administration at the site.