BHUBANESWAR: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today called for 'hartal' in seven southern districts on October 1 demanding unilateral construction of Polavaram dam project to be stopped until the Supreme Court judgement.
Senior leaders including SC and ST welfare minister Lalbihari Himirika and minister of state for food supply and consumer welfare Sanjay Dasburma said that BJD will intensify its agitation over the issue in coming days.
Criticising the Centre for providing approval for the formation of Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) in gross violation of rules despite being aware of the fact that the matter is sub-judice, Patro alleged grant of environment clearance to the project is unfortunate.
The president of the Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) Dasburma announced that BJD will stage dharna and protest meeting outside Raj Bhavan on September 14 against the unilateral decision of the Centre and also assured to submit a memorandum to the President of India through the Governor.
He further stated that besides dharna and protest, meetings will also be held infront of the collectorates in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts on September 20.
Alleging that both the UPA and NDA governments at the Centre have favoured Andhra Pradesh on the issue by ignoring the interest of Odisha, party spokesperson Rabi Narayan Nanda announced that the BJD will continue to fight till the issue is settled.
The BJD leaders claimed that 15 revenue villages and 10 hamlets in Motu tehsil and 7686 hectares of land in Malkangiri district will be submerged if the project is implemented with the present design. They alleged that 6818 people including 5916 tribals will be displaced due to the project.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of senior BJD leaders presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Navin Nivas on Saturday. Observers and associate observers have been appointed for the seven districts for proper coordination of the agitation.
Observers for different districts are, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Ishwar Panigrahy (Malkangiri), Chadrasarathi Behera, Pruthviraj Behera (Koraput), Bhupinder Singh, Kunbihari Das (Rayagada), Sanjay Dasburma, Pramod Patnaik (Nabarangpur), Pradip Amat, Bijay Nayak (Ganjam), Maheswar Mohanty, Kailash Rana (Gajapati) and Samir Ranjan Das, Babu Singh (Kandhamal).