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MP Farmers up in Arms Against ‘Needless’ Irrigation Project, Say 50,000 Will Lose Land

Led by former legislator Sunilam, the distressed farmers claimed that they were told no irrigation project was being started in their region but on July 2, CM Shivraj Sinngh Chouhan suddenly laid the foundation for the project in Khurai (Sagar).

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:July 16, 2018, 11:27 PM IST
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MP Farmers up in Arms Against ‘Needless’ Irrigation Project, Say 50,000 Will Lose Land
Representative image. (Image: PTI)
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Bhopal: Farmers from Raisen and Sagar districts reached Bhopal on Monday to protest against acquisition of their farmland for the upcoming Bina irrigation project.

According to the farmers, the Bina project aims to supply water to ‘already irrigated region’ and would lead to wastage of crores of rupees.

Led by former legislator Sunilam, the distressed farmers claimed that they were told no irrigation project was being started in their region but on July 2, CM Shivraj Sinngh Chouhan suddenly laid the foundation for the project in Khurai (Sagar).

The project would cost over Rs 3,700 crore. “It is nothing but an election gimmick to help out home minister Bhupendra Singh who hails from Sagar,” said Sunilam.

He further alleged that the project seeks to snatch water from farmers and hand it over to Bina Refinery and power project.

As part of the project, dams will be built in Madia, Chakarpur, Dehra and Semra. As a result, farmers allege 86 villages will be submerged and 50,000 of them stand to lose their land.

They further said that a notice has been issued for the dam in Chakarpur despite the fact that no public hearing was convened as per norms even after their written request to the land acquisition officer.

Likewise, gazette notifications has been issued for acquiring land in 21 Sagar villages and in as many villages in Raisen district for Madia dam.

“Despite the department of irrigation’s objection, PWD minister laid the foundation for roads and dams with a budget of Rs 14 crore in Beghumganj tehsil, an area which faces submergence,” said Munna Dana, the local corporator.

He said that the minister had assured locals that Madia dam is not being built.

“My 2.4 acre land faces submergence from the project which was formally announced on July 2 and locals were not informed at all prior to this,” said local farmer Yashpal Yadav.

Another farmer Md Aslam, whose 5.5 hectare land faces submergence, alleged that no public hearing was carried out as per norms.

“The project would sink 4.5 km of reserve forest and the entire projects would destroy 40 lakh trees,” he added.

Farmer, Abahy Pateria, accused the administration of wasting public money on this project saying the region is already irrigated through earlier projects.

The farmers tried seeking an appointment with the governor but she was out of the city. They then met public relations minister Narottam Mishra, who assured he would take up the matter with the department concerned.

An e-mailed query from News 18 sent to Radhe Shyam Julaniya, the Additional Chief Secretary, on farmers’ allegations, did not elicit any reply till the report was filed.

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| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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