No irrigation water for industries - Naveen

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 7 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said water meant for irrigation would not be allowed to be consumed by the industrial houses in the state.

'' Not a single drop of water meant for the farmers would be given to the industrial houses, be it from the Hirakud Dam or any reservoirs in the state, '' Mr Patnaik told newsmen while describing yesterday's police action on the agitated farmers at Hirakud as unfortunate.

Several farmers were injured when police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them from entering the prohibitory areas of Hirakud Dam.

Thousands of farmers from Western Orissa barged into the Dam to lodge their protest against what they alleged an ''indiscriminate allocation of water'' to industries by the state government.

As part of the civil disobedience movement, thousands of farmers marched towards the dam's prohibited area, breaking the barricade at four stages. Police resorted to lathicharge when the farmers proceeded towards the sluice gates of the dam in which at least 15 people sustained minor injuries.

The Chief Minister said strong action would be taken if anybody was found guilty in yesterday's action on the farmers.

To a question, Mr Patnaik made it clear that only the surplus water would be provided to the industrial houses without affecting the irrigation as the government, he said, had accorded top priority to agriculture.


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