Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Koraput, Jan 7:
The 12 hour bandh call today by the ruling BJD party protesting against the Polavaram dam has affected the day-to-day life in Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts in Odisha.
The bandh has been called from 7 am in the morning till 5 pm in the evening. The streets were deserted, shops and business houses remained closed. The general public is also supporting the strike, with locals joining the protests which are being held at different places in the districts.
“ When the first MOU was signed in 1980 with Odisha government there near Motu its height was limited to 150 feet, but currently the Andhra Pradesh government has increased the height to nearly 180 feet.”
“But strangely, even when three states are involved in this project the Andhra Pradesh government has not given us any information or details of the project. They have also not created a Gram Sabha, which is an essential prequisite in tribal areas has not been created not their opinions taken,” alleged Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi.
“We have given a proposal to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create three barrages instead to a big dam. If the dam is created 302 villages will be submerged, while if three barrages are created then, only 74 villages will be drowned. No one is looking into the proposal, which will actually increase the water and power generation. The villagers of these villages which will be submerged have no idea about this,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, protests are also being in front of Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar by the BJD party against the Polavaram issue. The protesting BJD ministers and MLAs meet Governor SC Jamir at Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar and handed over a memorandum for President Pranab Mukherjee.
Interestingly, Chief Minister and BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik had yesterday tweeted that his government will protect the interests of tribals at any cost.