BALANGIR: After hanging fire for two and a half years, the second phase construction work of Lower Suktel Irrigation project officially kickstarted on Saturday in the presence of Balangir tehsildar, police personnel and other officials.
The resumption of work followed the visit of chief secretary Suresh Mahapatra and WODC chairman Asit Tripathy to the project site on February 3 and subsequent sanction of Rs 106.47 crore by the State government as ex-gratia assistance. Eight families of Pardhiapali village were provided compensation for displacement.
There are 29 peripheral villages affected by the project. Families in 15 such villages have been compensated as per Resettlement and Rehabilitation policy, 2006.
However they have been demanding compensation as per the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Construction of the approach road had started on January 15 after Collector Chanchal Rana and SP Nitin Kushalkar visited the dam site.
In second phase, soil work started on Saturday. Addressing mediapersons, the project chief engineer Niranjan Rout said construction work was resumed after demands of displaced people were fulfilled.
“Dialogue is on to address other issues. Currently, base stripping work has started,” he said.