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The possibility of a water crisis in Sundargarh and Jharsuguda district due to the proposed barrage construction on Ib river by Chhattisgarh government has further magnified after it was learnt that another hydro-power project over Ib river at Gulu village in Chhattisgarh is under construction.
The residents of Sundargarh, who have earlier expressed their concern over the construction of the barrage, have demanded intervention of the state government.
According to sources, the proposed hydropower project in Gulu will utilize water from river Ib river to generate about 24KW electricity. The project, which was conceived in 2007, received clearance from the state and central government.
However, it faced delay due to protests by locals over fear that their villages will be submerged under water. The residents of Sundargarh are worried that the project will further affect the water flow of Ib river, which is the lifeline for thousands of farmers of Sundargarh and Jharsuguda district.
A delegation of Sundargarh Nagarika Committee had recently visited the construction site of the proposed barrage and voiced their concerns. "We are worried to know about the construction of a hydro-power project on Ib river in Gulu," said B M Tripathy, president, Sundargarh Nagarika Committee. "The residents of Sundargarh and Jharsuguda will be adversely affected if these two projects affect the flow of Ib river to our area. We demand immediate intervention of the state government," Tripathy added.
Senior Congress leader and former speaker of state assembly, Kishore Patel, took a dig at ruling Biju Janata Dal over the issue. "Although the Congress had drawn the attention of the government by calling a strike in Sundargarh recently, the state government has not yet taken up the issue with Chhattisgarh," said Patel.
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