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Protest derails dam work

Balangir, May 11: Uncertainty looms over the future of Lower Suktel Irrigation project as the dam authority cancelled work on the spillway of the dam that was scheduled to begin today in the face of stiff opposition from those whose land would be submerged by the project and activists.

The administration had arranged for a puja to mark the beginning of the spillway work. But as those opposed to the project staged a vehement protest, the dam authorities were forced to cancel the programme.

Dam authorities said they would meet the villagers who would be affected by the project and then decide on the future course of action.

Sanjaya Mishra, an activist, said: “The affected villagers have not been given their due compensation. Now, the dam authority is trying to go ahead with the construction of the dam without consulting the villagers who will lose their land and homes. This is unacceptable.”