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Ire over Kharkai barrage

- Villagers announce Dec. 30 protest at project site

The fact that it is a “zero-submerge” project notwithstanding, residents of Gamharia in Seraikela-Kharsawan are opposing the proposed barrage at Ghazia over the Kharkai.

On Sunday, residents held a meeting to draw up an action plan for spearheading an agitation against construction of the barrage and fixed December 30 for holding a mass meeting at the project site, 25km from Jamshedpur.

Supported by the gram sabha, a tribal outfit which safeguards the interest of the community in Jharkhand, the protestors resolved to oppose the project tooth and nail.

Residents are opposed to the construction of the proposed barrage as they apprehend displacement like the multi-crore Subarnarekha Multipurpose Project (SMP) in Chandil. Construction of the Ghazia barrage is a Rs 250 crore project.

Apart from irrigation facilities, the barrage will also help in solving the drinking water problem in Adityapur and Gamharia.

Meanwhile, chief engineer, Icha-Galudih Project under SMP, Vivekanand Mishra, confirmed they were facing strong opposition from villagers.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mishra said the villagers were apprehensive that their homes would be submerged if the barrage came up. “But in reality, the barrage is a zero-submerge project, and no village will be affected,” said the chief engineer. He pointed out that some local politicians with vested interests were misleading villagers.

Speaking about the project, Mishra said that they have already got the nod from the Central Water Commission for the project and also the drawing for the civil work. He said once they obtain the drawing for the barrage's gate, they would start work.

The chief engineer said the project once completed would irrigate 15,000 hectares in Seraikela. Mishra said the project will be completed within three years.