Demonstrations held in Berhampur and Paralakhemundi
BERHAMPUR: Demonstrations were held in Berhampur of Ganjam district and Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district on Friday against the efforts of the Andhra government to expedite its proposed offshore water reservoir project on the Mahendratanaya river.
Recently, the Orissa Chief Minister had written to his Andhra counterpart to stop work on the project as Orissa was not consulted before taking up the project. The river flows through both the states and as per treaty between them each state has to take the other state into confidence before taking up any project on the river. The inhabitants of Gajapati district allege that the Andhra government’s project on the river would affect irrigation prospects of the river in Gosani and Rayagada blocks of Gajapati district in Orissa. The AP project is also feared to affect drinking water supply to Paralakhemundi town. The demonstrations in Orissa were planned to coincide with the foundation stone laying ceremony of the project by the Andhra Chief Minister in Srikakulam district. In Berhampur, the demonstration was organised by the Rushikulya Bachao Manch (RBM) which was also by the activists of Mahendragiri Surakhya Manch. Led by the former deputy speaker of the State assembly, Ram Chandra Panda, these activists took out a rally in the city and handed over a memorandum addressed to the Governor of Orissa to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division. They urged the Governor to initiate measures to stop Andhra from taking up the project which would hamper interests of Orissa.
At Paralakhemundi, the Mahedrataneya Surakhya Mancha, organised the rally in protest against the Andhra project on Mahendratanaya river. The rally was attended by leaders of all major political parties in Gajapati district. BJP MLA Bharat Paika, Congress MLA Trinath Sahu, BJD leader Narayan Rao led the rally. The protestors also burnt an effigy of the Andhra Chief Minister. The activists of the Rashtriya Oriya Yuvak Pratisthan (ROYP) also took part in the demonstration.