Kendrapara: Despite uproar by local residents and amid tight security arrangements, Kendrapara administration started the construction work of the proposed mega drinking water project on Kharasrota River in the district Saturday afternoon, a source informed.
According to the source, 22 platoons of police force were deployed at the project site, apprehending untoward law and order situation. In addition, at least 100 senior police officials were mobilised for the purpose.
The boiling situation that prevailed at the project site for the last couple of days was followed by a number of arrests by the district administration that brought the situation under control.
Meanwhile, Kharasrota Banchao Sangram Samiti (KBSS) has decided to stage a protest for an indefinite period starting from Sunday, against the administration’s alleged coercive attitude.
“Among the arrested are those who have undergone heart surgeries barely a couple of days ago. However, police did not spare them,” convener of KBSS Debendra Sharma said.
“We will hold relay strikes in all panchayats of Kendrapara district, which will continue for months. The agitations will continue until our demands are met,” Sharma added.
On the other hand, state unit of Congress party has constituted a fact-finding team to inquire about the mega project. The five-member team led by Panchanan Kanungo will visit the project site Sunday.
Similarly, Odisha BJP has opposed the high-handedness of the district administration as well as police. The party also demanded immediate release of those locals arrested in connection with the protest.
Notably, 24 locals were arrested August 12 for opposing the project at Bharigada area in Kendrapara district.