Maoists raid irrigation project site

Nuapada/Bhubaneswar: The construction work of the Lower Indra Irrigation project has come to a grinding halt after the Maoists attacked the camp of the DD Company which has undertaken the construction of the project. The Maoist attack on the irrigation project has increased the headache for the state government.

The Maoist ultras raided the camp of the DD Company on March 4 and torched over 15 vehicles of the company. Even crosser machines and generator sets have been reduced to ashes in the attack. Two days after the incident, the project site wears a deserted look as workers and labourers have stopped coming to the site out of Maoist fear.

The Lower Indra Project was started in 2002. Then its budget was pegged at Rs 211.70 crore. Meanwhile, Rs 1182.23 crore have already been spent for the project. The project when completed would provide irrigation facilities to 90 villages in Nuapada and 122 villages in Bolangir measuring over 30,000 hectares. But the latest attack by the Maoists has raised doubts about the continuation of the project work.

The Maoists have been too often creating hurdles in developmental works. The Maoists too have created hindrance in the construction of the Gurupriya dam over river Janbai in Malkangiri district. No construction companies were interested to undertake construction of the project after eight tenders. Finally, the work was handed over to the Odisha Bridge Construction Company (OBCC). The Maoists have attacked the Essar pipelines eight times.