60 year old man travels 300km down Mahanadi to spread awareness about Sindol project: The Telegraph

September 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

Following report is from the Telegraph:

Sonepur, Sept. 7: Gobinda Chandra Maharana is 60 years old. For most, the number means it’s time for retirement. But the man from Kantilo in Nayagarh district has floated a rather rare and tireless tale.

He has travelled nearly 300km down the river Mahanadi on nothing but an inflated tyre to spread ripples of awareness about the proposed Sindol project and how it could submerge historical and religious monuments.

With the help of a motor tube, Maharana began his journey from the Somalai ghat of Mahanadi in Sambalpur and reached here on Tuesday morning.

Maharana echoed the sentiment of the local people that the proposed Sindol project would cause a lot of harm to the livelihood and culture of the people of the area.

He said: “The project is not in the best interest of the people of the area. But apart from submerging large stretches of agricultural land, the project will also submerge priceless historical and cultural monuments.”

Maharana said that he had come across many historical monuments and temples along the banks of the Mahanadi during his voyage from Sambalpur to Sonepur. “I came across some rare monuments on the banks of the river during my journey. And I am afraid all these temples and historical monuments will submerge if the Sindol project comes up. A chapter of the culture on the banks of Mahanadi will be lost forever,” he said.

“The government might compensate the displaced people by rehabilitating them elsewhere but what about the monuments that will be submerged, including the leaning temple of Huma? Is there any mechanism to save these monuments? Once the project comes up they will be submerged in the river. No one can save those monuments. People should fight against the project to save these monuments.”

According to Maharana, at least three rare monuments — the leaning temple of Huma, Papakshyaya ghat near Sonepur and the famous Godhaneswar temple — would be submerged by the Sindol project.

Talking about his journey, Maharana said he had not faced any trouble navigating the river that was swelling with heavy rain that has been lashing the state.

“The tube in which I was travelling turned upside down because of the heavy current a few kilometres from Sambalpur, but I took control of it. I only lost my purse, in which I had some money. I am a good swimmer and know how to tackle such situations,” he said.

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Entry filed under: Agriculture and Irrigation, Boudh, Region watch, Sambalpur, Sindhol project, Subarnapur.

Kosal Prades: A Kosli language weekly news paper Integrated watershed management projects for the backward districts

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