Bhubaneswar: After receiving severe flak from various quarters including from the Opposition, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday ordered cancellation of a beer bottling plant at Balarampur village in Dhenkanal district.
The authorities had cut down over a 1000 trees Saturday with support of police despite stiff resistance from the locals. The CM’s order came following recommendations of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (northern division) DV Swamy who was asked to probe into the matter.
In his letter to industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra, Swamy said, “Based on the factual report available, allocation of the bottling plant may be cancelled and an alternate site may be provided. Unnecessary felling of trees may be stopped forthwith and immediate plantation should be taken up.”
The issue found its resonance in the State Assembly Monday with the Congress having moved an adjournment motion notice in this regard seeking a discussion. Though the motion was accepted by Speaker PK Amat, discussions could not be held as the proceedings were adjourned first till 3 pm and latter till Tuesday morning.
State PSU Idco had allocated land for the proposed beer factory and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the project via video-conferencing November 3. However, the CM Sunday had ordered immediate stalling of tree-cutting and asked the RDC (northern division) to investigate the matter.
Reports about the Chief Minister cancelling the proposed bottling plant at Balarampur village under Odapada block spread cheers among the residents as they celebrated the occasion by taking out a victory rally in the village Monday.
The villagers, mostly women, burst crackers and played musical instruments during the procession that marched through the village to the proposed community forest. They termed it as a victory of truth and nature. They demanded action against concerned officials for cutting down the trees and urged the government to plant new trees.