Lower Suktel Dam: Villagers, Maoists take contrast stand

Hundreds of villagers supporting the Lower Suktel irrigation project on Tuesday blocked Balangir-Patnagarh road at Dhulusar Chhack for more than one hour.

Sudam Dharua of Telenpali village, who led the agitators, said local tribals are supporting construction of the lower Suktel irrigation dam, but some ‘outsiders with vested interest’ have been creating disturbances. They presented a memorandum in this regard to the Sub-Collector.

In another incident, Maoists blew up telecommunication towers in Rengali village under Khaprakhol block of Balangir district and Puruna bus stand in Paikmal of Bargarh district in protest against the Suktel project.

In the posters left behind by the Maoists at both the spots, they threatened the district administrative officials of dire consequences if they go ahead with the project. “Construction of this dam is being undertaken without any discussion on the rehabilitation and resettlement of villagers who would be displaced by the project. This is illegal and we protest this decision of the Government,” stated the posters signed by Balangir-Bargarh Mahasamundi Regional Committee of CPI (Maoists).

The Maoists asked the officials concerned to stop the construction works immediately. This apart, they demanded hike of wages of kendu leaf pluckers.

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