Lower Suktel Project work halts yet again

Bolangir: Demanding immediate rehabilitation of the displaced people and disbursal of compensation, locals of Paradhiapalli village in Bolangir staged a protest today near the Lower Suktel project.

As per sources, the agitating people are opposing construction of the irrigation project demanding more compensation.

The construction of the Lower Suktel Project has also been halted because of the protest, sources said.

Meanwhile, massive police forces have been deployed at the project site to prevent any untoward incident, sources added.

Last year, residents of 15 villages had formed a Mahila Mahashangh to present their demand for speedy rehabilitation of the project-affected people.

Sanctioned under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) in 1996 at a cost of Rs 217.16 crore, the Suktel dam aims to provide irrigation benefits to four blocks of Bolangir and Sonepur districts. For the purpose of irrigation, the government had proposed to construct an earthen dam of nearly 30 meters across Suktel river which is a tributary of the Tel river.

Official sources had stated that the project would affect about 638 hectares of land. While the people of 16 villages would be completely displaced, people of 10 villages will be partially displaced, added sources.