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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Sep 26:

Bolangir Action Committee on Monday resorted to ‘Jal Satyagraha’ protesting against Odisha Government’s alleged apathy towards displaced villagers of the Lower Suktel project.

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The committee demanded compensation to the displaced people as per the 2013 Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) policy and expedite the project work.

People from as many as 14 villages under the project area took part in the agitation.

According to reports, the outfit had discussed with district collector, superintendent of police, Lower Suktel project chief engineer and land acquisition officer of the project for two hours yesterday concerning the issues, but to no avail.

Following the failure of the meeting, hundreds of protesters embarked on a bike rally earlier today and gathered at Khagasabahal village. Later, they resumed their protest rally till river Suktel.

This apart, the agitators would sit on a relay hunger strike from today, sources said.

The committee also expressed its resentment over tardy progress of the project despite sanction of Rs 217 crore fund in 1999, Rs 1042 crore in 2009 and Rs 2448 crore on August 30 2016 respectively.

However, the district collector has appealed the outfit to call off the protest assuring that its demands are under consideration.

Meanwhile, three platoons of police personnel have been deployed at the Satyagraha place to avoid any untoward situation. District sub collector, SDPO, ODRAF, Fire department officials and a medical team were present at the place.