Sunday, November 18, 2007

Villagers besiege barrage, seek bridge over

The New Indian Express, Nov 6, 2007

BHAWANIPATNA: Thousands of people besieged the Mangalpur barrage on Monday demanding stop to release of water into the river Hati.

They were also seeking construction of a high-level bridge over the river at Karmel ghat and construction of embankments on both banks of the river to check river erosion.

The agitation was being conducted under the aegis of Kalampur Bikash Manch. Members of the Manch alleged that the surplus water of the Indravati Project is being discharged into the Hati through Mangalpur barrage. Due to this, the river faces floods five or six times a year during the rainy season resulting in widespread damage to property and lives besides causing river erosion.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid foundation stone for construction of a bridge over the river at Karmel ghat in 2004. The project, however, is yet to be started.

Dharamgarh Sub-Collector Jagannath Mohanty said that though the situation had been brought under control, people are still camping at the Mangalpur barrage site.

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