The fate of tribal people of Kalahandi is at stake

The fate of Indravati multipurpose project and economy of tribal people dependant on Buflamali hills of Kalahandi is at stake said state secretary of CPI-M Alli Kishor Patnaik after visiting the area on Thursday and taking note of the proposed bauxite mining proposal of Utkal Alumina.

Both the union government and the state government need to study the impact of the proposed mining on the Kalahandi side of Buflamali hills since the Indravati reservoir is located just below the hill. Indravati is the lifeline of Kalahandi district and the tribals are dependent on the hill, he noted.

People are apprehensive that the mining may lead to siltation of the reservoir as several streams from the hill and flow down to the Indravati. This may reduce the life of the reservoir and endanger the irrigation project, he said.

Besides this, 164 land less tribal families of Durmushi and Suryagarh areas who were issued with land patta in the hills by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his tour to Thuamul Rampur in 2011 are also facing eviction by the mining project, he alleged.

The CPI-M leader said the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment should intervene. Some modalities should evolved seriously so that the future of Indravati project and of tribal families can be safe guarded. Industry has its own economics importance but not at the cost of an important Irrigation and power generation project, he noted.

The Kalahandi portion of Buflamali and the origin places of the streams from the Mali discharging in to Indravati reservoir should be protected.

The CPI-M leader told reporters that resentment amongst local people is brewing and it is high time measures should be taken by government. Among others senior party leader Nabakishor Patnaik and the Kalahandi district wing secretary of CPI-M Satyajit Chatarjee were also present at the press meet.

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