Balangir: The agitation by the affected people of the Lower Suktel Project area entered the second day on Tuesday.
Today, we are sitting here along with villagers of Barpita, Khagasabahal and Khuntpali demanding speedy execution of the Lower Suktel Project. So far no official from the district administration has come to us for discussion. We condemn the reported statements of Additional District magistrate that the demands of Lower Suktel Action Committee are not acceptable, said president of the action committee Gopalji Panigrahi.
A villager of Khuntpali said the villagers had supported the district administration and accepted compensation seven years ago against the wishes of other villagers of the affected area. However, till today they have not received their total compensation and hence we are not in a position to leave the village.
We cannot construct new houses at the proposed rehabilitation site. We are deprived of all government facilities there. The government should take immediate steps so that we could get all the compensation and leave the place, he added.
In a related development, members of the Lower Suktel Budi Anchal Sangram Parishad, who are opposing the project, held a meeting at Banchhorpali on June 10 which was attended by residents of 12 villages going to be submerged in the project, which include Pardhiapalli, Gadshankar, Dunguripali, BanchhorPali, Kumiaapali, Antapali, Buda Bahal, Dharuapali, Kapil Bahal, Tabalbanji, Baghdunguri and others.
It was attended by, among others, Uday Singh Thakur, Ghunusahu, P Rajput and others.
After long deliberations, the meeting decided to oppose the project and demanded direct discussion with the Chief Minister on this issue. Rather than constructing big dams and projects, the Government should construct small barrages for optimum utilisation of water resources for drinking and irrigation purposes. The meeting also condemned the fraudulent purchase of land going on in the submerged area of the Lower Suktel Project by different people, said Satya Banchhor of the Sangram Parishad.