Odisha: BJP to skip, Congress to protest CM event over Ib river barrage issue
Activist Suru Mishra said except monsoon, the river remains dry throughout the year and the situation turns grim in summer.
ROURKELA: With a few hours left before the Chief Minister steps into the district to inaugurate a slew of projects worth Rs 4800 crore in Sundargarh district, opposition BJP has decided to give the event a go by as the Congress will be protesting his visit.
Upset that the Ib river barrage proposal has not been mentioned in the list of upcoming proposals to be launched by the CM on Tuesday, both parties expressed concern over the aggravation of problem for people struggling to get getting piped water to their homes.
Ib river is the only source of piped water for Sundargarh town which has almost dried up before summer. However, a proposal to construct a barrage on the river has been gathering dust.
Sundargarh MLA Kusum Tete of BJP said in 2013, the Water Resources department had proposed to construct a low height bridge-cum-barrage on the river and a ring road along its banks.
However, the project is not included in the list of ventures to be inaugurated by CM Naveen Patnaik. Enraged, Tete said she would not attend the Chief Minister’s function.
“I had discussed the matter with Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Minister Pratap Jena on February 10. Even as the Odisha government remains indecisive on the project which is also envisaged to meet the irrigation needs of farmers in Sundargarh and Talasara block, its Chhattisgarh counterpart has built several barrages over the river choking its flow in the district,” Tete said.
Activist Suru Mishra said except monsoon, the river remains dry throughout the year and the situation turns grim in summer. Further delay in construction of barrage on Ib river would aggravate the sufferings of the town residents.
Water scarcity remains a pertinent issue in the town. The Public Health and Engineering Organisation supplies piped water to households for a limited period during summer. The Sundargarh unit of Congress too has announced to protest the Chief Minister’s visit over the same issue.