Orissa farmers protest diversion of irrigation water to industriesPublished by MAC on 2007-01-13
Source: Unknown ()
Orissa farmers protest diversion of irrigation water to industries
Bargarh (Orissa), Jan 13 (ANI): Thousands of farmers in Orissa have protested against the State Government's decision to release dam water to industries.
Farmers from Sambalpur, Bargah, Bolangir and Jharusuguda were joined by renowned social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Rajinder Singh, who came down heavily on the government for diverting the Hirakud Dam water from agricultural fields to industries.
"It feels like Hirakud Dam is only servicing the polluting and exploiting industries because the government is ready to release water for the industries. This is a new concern for the area because if water is provided to the industries what will the farmers do. How will they till their lands?" Singh said.
Around 5,000 farmers, who gathered under the banner of the Krushak Surakshya Sangathan, accused the government of favouring big industries and demanded to stop the diversion.
"Our land has to be irrigated, but where do we get water from? The farmers are suffering and the government is not at all bothered. This is injustice to us," said Satyendra, a farmer.
Government officials have refused to comment on the issue.
Farmers say release of waters from Hirakud Dam to industries instead of agriculture sector could lead to the parching of around 50,000 acres of farmland.
The Hirakud Dam project is built across the River Mahanadi, about 15 kilometers upstream from Sambhalpur. (ANI)