on Gagar River
would be built with an estimated cost of Rs 35 crore and would have potential to irrigate 3500 hectare additional land in the Lundra development block of Sarguja division. About five villagers housing a population of 10,000 would be affected.
U D Ramtake, the Executive Engineer of the water resources department, said they had deposited Rs 17 crore with the district administration for land acquisition. Before the process of land acquisition could start, villagers had come out on street to lodge protest
against the plan.
The villagers said the special gram sabha convened for the project
in different villages had refused the plan. Despite the protest, the district administration is allegedly planning to forcefully acquire the land for the project.
Under the banner of Chhattisgarh
Kisan Sabha and Adivasi Ekta Mahasabha, the villagers marched out a rally in Ambikapur, the divisional headquarters of Sarguja. A memorandum was given to the district authorities. The officials however did not comment on the development.
C P Shukla, Chhattisgarh’s Kisan Sabha’s secretary, said the officials were trying to forcefully take over the land for the project
despite the gram sabha passing resolution to oppose it. The district administration had served notices to the villagers asking to evict the place, he said.
Sarguja is fifth scheduled area and the administration cannot ignore the gram sabha’s proceedings for land acquisition, he added. The villagers protest
would intensify if the administration tried to forcefully acquire the land, Shukla said.