Orissa BJP leaders differ on Manibhadra Dam project issue

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Sambalpur, Oct 15 (UNI) Orissa BJP president Sureh Pujari today resented Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal's recent statement on construction of the Manibhadra project, second dam on the Mahanadi after Hirakud, to prevent flood.

Mr Samal, a BJP Minister, during his visit to the Baudh district, declared that Manibhadra project would start soon, to prevent flood in the Mahanadi river system.

The Minister also made it clear that it was necessary to have a second dam at Manaibhadra to curb flood in the coastal parts of the state.

But the state BJP president not only protested the project but rejected such a proposal, saying such a project had become irrelevant in the present day context.

He further attributed that the project if implemented would involve many humanitarian problems such as displacement, rehabilitation and compensation.

'' When land oustees of Hirakud dam project are yet to get due compensation even after 52 years of completion of the project, the proposed dam at Manibhadra will further compound the miseries of the displaced people, ''Mr Pujari said.

The BJP, he said, had been all along protesting construction of the Manibhadra project since beginning, adding there was no question of the party deviating from its stand on the issue.

Mr Pujari further said as a man from Western Orissa, he would never support such a project, which would submerge vast areas and displace a large number of people.

The people of Western Orissa, had got bitter experiences of displacement in the construction of major dam at Hirakud in 1960s and subsequent dam at Rengali, he said.

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