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Work begins at DVC project

Raghunathpur, Dec. 22: Work on the protest-mired corridor to supply water from the Panchet dam to the Damodar Valley Corporation’s 2,520MW thermal power plant in Raghunathpur began today.

“We are very happy that we have been able to carry out work on the water corridor today without being obstructed,” said a senior DVC official this evening after work ceased for the day around 5pm.

The last time work could be carried out on the 10.5km corridor was on October 20, after which a section of land-losers had prevented construction of the corridor, seeking jobs and higher compensation.

A high level meeting was held in Calcutta last month, chaired by industries minister Partha Chatterjee and attended by senior DVC and district administration officials.

Chatterjee had claimed that solutions had been reached and that work would soon resume. But it was not until today that the landlosers could finally be convinced to withdraw their agitation.

DVC officials today said continuous negotiations by the Purulia zilla parishad sabhadipati and the local MLA had finally bore fruit.

The sabhadipati, Srishtidhar Mahato, had in fact met and spoken to the landlosers almost every day in a bid to convince them to allow work on the project.

“We had to solve each landloser’s individual problems, ranging from getting their compensatory cheques to assurances of casual jobs related to the power project. It took some time, as there were over 100-odd land-losers with individual problems,” Mahato said.

Excavation work started around 11am near Hansapathar village in the Raibandh gram panchayat area today.