press trust of india
Baripada, 14 July
Accusing Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of trying to mislead the people of Mayurbhanj about the Subarnarekha irrigation project, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha today said it would oppose his proposed visit to the district on July 17.
“The chief minister’s proposed visit to inaugurate release of water in Subarnarekha Irrigation Project is nothing but a ploy to mislead the people of Mayurbhanj,” JMM state president and former MP Sudam Marandi told reporters here.
Marandi alleged that a paucity of funds had hit the project which was started three decades back to create irrigation potential for 1.10 lakh hectares in Mayurbhanj district.
The main canal for the ambitious project is far from completion, but the CM surprisingly plans to dedicate it by releasing water during his tour, he said.
About 5 kilometre length of the main canal in three stretches of the project is non-existent and construction on the three stretches is yet to begin, Mr Marandi added.
Mr Patnaik, who also heads the Water Resources Department, is on his way to inaugurate the incomplete project without reviewing the actual progress of the works, the JMM state president said.
Initially budgeted at Rs 300 crore, the irrigation project cost at present has zoomed to over Rs 4,500 crore, he said.
Rs 3,200 crore has already been spent on the project funded by World Bank, Government of India, Government of Odisha, NABARD and AIBP, Mr Marandi pointed out.
Mr Marandi further alleged that the compensation and rehabilitation undertaken by the state government for the Subarnarekha project, too, was hit by scams with no action having been taken in the matter.