Gajapati Collector writes to Srikakulam counterpart

Staff Reporter

Fears over displacement of villagers by ‘AP project’

Team led by ADM visits ‘project site’

Saura tribals likely to be affected by the project hold demonstration

BERHAMPUR: A team led by Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Gajapati district, Prasanna Chandra Hota, on Tuesday visited the site where the Andhra Pradesh government is alleged to be taking up an irrigation project without consent of Orissa.

This proposed irrigation project of Andhra Pradesh on a stream coming out of Mahendragiri hill is suspected to cause displacement and submergence of agricultural fields in Orissa.

On Jan 24, Saura tribals of Gajapati district to be affected by this proposed project had demonstrated at district headquarter town, Paralakhemundi.

The team led by the ADM also included MLA Bharat Paika and engineers of the Irrigation department.

They also held discussions with locals, who fear they would be affected if the proposed project is taken up by Andhra government near Manikpatna village of Gangabada panchayat of Gajapati district. According to sources, Gajapati district Collector D.V.Swami has written to his counterpart of Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh basing on the report of the fact-finding team led by the ADM. He awaits reply from the Andhra side before taking up the matter with the State Government.

Stir planned

The MLA however said he would take up this matter in the coming session of the State Assembly. According to tribal activists like Bhala Sadangi, Andhra Pradesh had started planning this controversial project at least two years before without knowledge of the Orissa government.

Tribal organization Lok Sangram Manch has decided to launch an agitation against the project. The tribals alleged that this Andhra project was going to cause displacement and affect life in 11 villages of Gangabada panchayat.

Seven villages likely to be totally submerged by the Andhra project were Manikpatna, Khambagaon, Chanpapur, Akala, Dengasahi, Dimirigaon and Sankula. The villages to be partially affected by the project are Dakasahi, gangabada, Pachidia and Sanadeula.

The fact-finding delegation had reached the Gangabada village to take note of the situation.

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