Violence At Drinking Water Project Site In Odisha’s Kendrapada: Cong Forms Probe Panel

Bhubaneswar: Following the violence at the proposed mega drinking water project site near Bharigada in Kendrapada district on Thursday and arrest of some people the day after, the Congress on Saturday formed a state-level fact-finding team to probe into the incident.

The committee, headed by the former finance minister Panchanan Kanungo, has Anshuman Mohanty, Ganeswar Behera, Gyana Ranjan Behera and Debendranath Sharma as members.

They will visit the area and collect the details from the people of three panchayats. The committee will submit its report to the Pradesh Congress Committee.

Meanwhile, the Kharasrota Banchao Sangram Samiti (KBSS), which is spearheading the agitation against the proposed project, strongly condemned the police action.

Condemning the arrest of 24 people from their houses late Friday night, KBSS convener Debendranath Sharma said the police need not go to their houses as the people will come voluntarily for the arrest. “We will lunch ‘jail bharo’ agitation,” he said.

On the other hand, the company engaged by the state government for construction of the proposed project has filed a complaint against 1000 people for ransacking its equipment and office assets.

Reacting to the decision of the state government in going ahead with the project, a KBSS member said as per rules, it should conduct a public hearing to seek the people’s opinion before the commencement of project work. But, the government in gross violation of the rules, took the decision against the wishes of the people.

It may be mentioned that the people of Balakati, Bharigada and Barunadiha panchayats led by the KBSS have been opposing the proposed mega drinking water project over Kharasrota river which will supply water to 91 panchayats of Bhadrak district.

Maintaining that the supply of water will dry up the river bed, KBSS had proposed an in-stream barrage over Kharasrota for the purpose. The government, however, turned a deaf ear to its proposal and decided to go ahead with the project at Bharigada.

Also Read: Mega Drinking Water Project Site In Odisha’s Kendrapada Turns Into Battlefield

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