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Water Diversion: MBA activists slam government
CUTTACK: Even as the ruling BJD leaders were eloquent on the achievements of the State Government at the Jawaharlal Nehru In..
CUTTACK: Even as the ruling BJD leaders were eloquent on the achievements of the State Government at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday, a few kilometres away, the activists of the Mahanadi Banchao Andolan were held by the police for protesting indiscriminate diversion of water to industries.
The Andolan activists led by former Minister and BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra and convener GC Hota along with people from all walks of life including former SCBMCH superintendent Prof Ramesh Chandra Rath, Ravenshaw College former principal Pravat Mishra, former ministers Samir Dey and Panchanan Kanungo and former MP Anadi Sahu took out a rally from Matamath to the office of the Superintending Engineer, Irrigation, at Cantonment Road.
As they set upon to stage a demonstration in front of the office before submitting a memorandum, addressed to the Governor, protesting diversion of water from the Mahanadi at Jobra to the water guzzling industries like Posco, IOCL oil refinery and Essar Steel, they were stopped by the police. Prohibiting them from carrying out their agitation, police took all of them into custody. They were subsequently let off after the Chief Minister and his entourage left Cuttack in the afternoon.
Terming this as a direct assault on the democratic rights of the citizens, Mohapatra said the Government was so absorbed in the love for industries that it has not hesitated in putting the lives of millions of the common people in jeopardy.
Turning a blind eye to the pressing problems of shortage of water both for irrigation and drinking, the Government was bent upon inflicting more atrocities on them by way of providing huge volume of water from the river to the industrial projects.
Urging the Governor to intervene in the matter that concerns lives of common people and farmers in the districts of Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur, he said that no water should be allowed to be diverted from the Mahanadi at Jobra barrage point. Instead, the Government should focus on reviving irrigation channels as well as provisioning adequate supply of water in the canals at the lowest ends. The agitation would be intensified on the issue, spokesperson Dillip Mallik said.
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