Farmers body demand cancellation of MoUs

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Sambalpur, Mar 13: Thousands of farmers and agriculture labourers from different parts of Western Orissa under the banner of 'Maa Samaleswari Krushijibi Mahasangha'(MSKM) today urged the Orissa Government to cancel all MoUs for supplying water to the industries from Hirakud Dam.

Addressing the convention, MSKM president Manoranjan Sahu said if farmers and agriculture labourers of the state would lose their livelihood if they did not fight for their rights. He cautioned that not only water would be insufficient for them for irrigation, but also the quantity of arable land would deplete at an alarming rate leading food scarcity in the region known to be rice-bowl of the state.

There had been indiscriminate conversions of arable land to non-agriculture purposes in the recent days and the process must be stopped on war footing, Mr Sahu said.

The MSKM also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Sambalpur, to fulfil their nine-point charter of demands.

The demands included among other things cancellation all MoUs, signed with industries for supply of water from Hirakud reservoir, renovation of all canals in the command area up to the tail ends, fixing individual farmer as unit for crop insurance, provide market yard facilities in the line of the Punjab and Haryana, pension to farmers and agriculture labourers, establishment of agro based industries to encourage cash crop.

The MKSM, Mr Sahu said, would intensify its agitation if the demands were not met and warned that the local administration would be held responsible for the consequences.

UNI

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