Samrudha Orissa demands white paper on irrigation

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 21 (UNI) Samrudha Orissa, a newly floated regional political outfit, today demanded the state government to publish a white paper on irrigation within a month.

Samrudha Orissa president Jatish Chandra Mohanty told newsmen here that though the government claimed 54,173 hectare of land had been brought under irrigation during the BJD-BJP rule, the coverage had been declined drastically and water was not reaching the tail end of canal.

He said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced to bring at least 35 per cent of land in each of the 198 blocks of Orissa under irrigation. But till date the government could do it only in four blocks.

Extending its full support to the ongoing farmers opposition to the government's decision to supply water to the industries from the Hirakud reservoir, Mr Mohanty said the supply of water from the Hirakud reservoir to industries would affect agricultural activities and power generation to a great extent.

Mr Mohanty also warned of serious consequences if water to the industries given from the Naraj-Munduli or Mahanadi-Birupa barrage.

The party had demanded cancellation of all MoUs to supply water to industries from the reservoir, impose a ban on the use of ground water by the companies, collection water tax arrears amounting to Rs 100 crore from the companies, compensation to farmers injured in police lathi charge at Hirakud.

Mr Mohanty also wanted POSCO and Arcelor Mittal to declare their sources of water to run the plant.

The party also condemned the police lathicharge on teachers and demanded compensation to the teachers and dismissal of police officials involved in the lathicharge.

Mr Mohanty said the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated with the Bank dacoity, rape and murder becoming a regular feature. The naxal movement had also spread to 16 districts now from five in 2000.

He threatned to launch a statewide mass movement to put pressure on the government to resign if law and order situation did not improve in the state.

UNI

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