Work on Lower Suktel project to start from September 27: Govt

September 3, 2012 at 2:28 am 2 comments

Following report is from the Pioneer:

Bowing to pressure from the Opposition Congress and in a bid to foil the call given by the Balangir Citizens’ Committee and the Lower Suktel Action Committee (LSAC) for Balangir bandh on Friday, the State Government on Thursday announced in the House that construction work of the already delayed Lower Suktel Irrigation Project (LSIP) would start from September 27.

However, the State Assembly during zero hour witnessed a war of words between two political heavy weights of the erstwhile Balangir royal familiy – uncle AU Singh Deo, senior vice-president of the BJD and former Minister and his nephew

Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, floor leader of the BJP and also a former Minister —  over the inordinate delay in starting work on the Lower Suktel Project which is yet see the light of the day after 11 years of  its administrative clearance.

The issue which was raised for the consecutive third day in the House since the beginning of the monsoon session with the BJP lawmaker from

Patnagarh drawing the attention of Speaker PK Amat to the indefinite hunger strike  undertaken by the LSAC demanding early establishment of the irrigation project.

Since the condition of the strikers continued to be serious and two of them were already admitted in the local hospital in critical condition, he sought the Speaker to direct the Government to make a statement in the House on the fate of the project.

He alleged that due to insensitive attitude of the Government and the local ruling party leaders, the project was getting delayed while the district has only around four per cent of irrigation coverage.

The BJP member (KV) was critical of the statement of his uncle that the State Government had been reviewing the status of the project from time to time.

He ridiculed that if the review was being done, the Government should speak out as to what was the bottleneck for starting the project.

KV was joined by the two Congress MLAs — Santosh Singh Saluja and Surendra Singh Bhoi in slamming the Government for being neglectful towards the people of Balangir. The two Congress MLAs had alleged that the project could not be taken up due to lack of interest on the part of the State Government as a result of which the project cost had escalated from the original Rs215 crore to Rs1,200 crore.

Earlier the two Congress members Singh and Singh Bhoi had staged dharana in the House on the opening day and on the second day resorted to dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises, seeking a definite assurance from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the Water Resources Minister, concerning the fate of the project and a definite timeframe to start

the project.

However, former Minister and senior BJD vice-president AU Singh Deo tried to defend the Government in the political bout. Asserting that the State Government was committed to set up the project, Singh Deo in an indirect attack on his nephew and the Congress members said it was unfortunate that the entire issue was being given a political colour.

Knowing that the project would be started very soon, some

people have started agitation to defame the Government.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Speaker, who had earlier ruled that the Government would make a statement on the issue, revised his ruling, directing the Government to give a statement on the LSIP on Friday.

Anyway, in a calculated move in order to neutralise the Friday dawn-to-dusk Balangir band, Urban Development Minister Raghu Nath Mohanty made a statement on behalf the Chief Minister in the House in the evening.

Stating that the Government was committed to setting up of the LSIP, Mohanty said out of the 5,654 acres of land required for the project, so far the process for land acquisition has been competed in 1,574 acres. However, he clarified that due to opposition from some sections of people, the project was delayed.

He said as many as 5,309 families would be displaced for the proposed irrigation project. The Government had already constructed rehabilitation colony and as many as 684 families had agreed to shift to the new colony, he said.

The Minister said socio-economic survey is in process in 14 out of 29 villages coming under the project area. Mohanty announced in the House that work on the irrigation project will start from September 27.

Following image is taken from a FB post by OTV:


Entry filed under: Agriculture, Agriculture and Irrigation, Balangir, Lower Suktel irrigation project, Region watch.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ramesh Chandra Rath  |  September 3, 2012 at 4:05 am

    This is a shame on the part of the State Govt. for failing to start such an important irrigation project in a district where irrigated area is only 4% and very often reeling under dry spell, after 11 years. Is it Governance? It needs to be completed at any cost for boosting agricultural production in the area. Kudos to those who are fighting for it!

  • 2. rajendra  |  September 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    a displaced man will never understand the political view.he can’t judge who is right. a u singhdeo saying project should be constructed and every leader tell the same, then where the problem is.why this big drama is.i would like comment on this issue that if the dam work on from this septmber,the R&R work should also be speed up from same day with the help of local people and in that time any one try to disturb govt should teach him a lession where second time no one will try to oppse.( dam+R&R)same time


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