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Godda MP faces opposition over Punasi dam

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 10.02.11
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Dumka, Feb. 9: Administrative officials of Deoghar had their hands full today controlling a mob of around a thousand people opposing construction work of the spillway of Punasi dam.

The mob, which was opposing BJP MP from Godda Nishikant Dubey’s move of laying the foundation stone for the project, alleged that they had not been paid adequate amount of compensation for being displaced.

However, Dubey and his supporters, along with Deoghar mayor Rajnarain Khawade and deputy mayor Sunil Khawade, marched unperturbed towards the dam, despite repeated requests from the administration, and laid the foundation stone for the spillway at a site referred to as the zero point.

The move of the BJP MP infuriated local residents, who went on the rampage and damaged around 10 vehicles belonging to ICL Construction company parked near the project site inside the Punasi police picket. The unruly mob also pelted stones at the picket, prompting police officers to use force to disperse them.

A group of around 1,000 residents also shouted slogans against the district administration officials and reiterated their stand of not allowing officials to continue work on the Punasi dam, work for which has been completed sans the spillway.

Terming the protests the handiwork of groups with vested interests, Dubey said that under no circumstances should the work on the highly ambitious dam be allowed any delay.

“Those who participated in the agitation today have nothing to do with the dam. Those being displaced are supportive of the project. The irrigation department is providing all benefits that the displaced are supposed to receive,” Dubey said.

Originally proposed to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 26 crore in 1978, the cost of the Punasi dam touched Rs 492 crore in course of time due to the subsequent delays in the construction work by a section of displaced people.

Apart from providing irrigation facility to 40,000 hectares in Deoghar and Dumka districts, the Punasi dam will also provide drinking water in Deoghar town and adjoining areas that are facing acute water shortage.