Farmer Leader Threatens Self-immolation - The New Indian Express

Farmer Leader Threatens Self-immolation

Published: 26th January 2014 09:47 AM

Last Updated: 26th January 2014 09:47 AM

Protesting the inordinate delay in implementation of the Rukuna Minor Irrigation Project, a farmer’s body leader of Angul has threatened to immolate himself during State level Republic Day celebration in the City on Sunday.

Prasanta Kumar Dash, general secretary of Angul Zilla Krushak Samaj said, continuous drought has pushed the lives of 13,000 traditional farmers of Lokeipasi to the brink. The farmers now live on the BPL rice as all their lands are barren with no irrigation facility available but State Government has turned a blind eye to their plight.

The project, conceptualised by former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, has seen foundation stone laying at least twice. The Rural Development Department sanctioned `1.43 crore using which lower part of the canal was completed but the check dam work could not be started.In 2011, after several protests and dharna, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik assured that project would be completed by June 2012 but in vain. While farmers are in a distressed condition, thousands cusecs of water is going to drain from Rukuna stream, Dash said and threatened that only way he could draw attention of the Government back to the issue is by way of resorting to the extreme step.

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