Rourkela, August 29 (LocalWire): More than six years have gone by since the foundation was laid for the Koel river barrage project here. The proposal has undergone four surveys, two design changes, two cancelled tenders and is still stuck in technical issues.
As of today no one seems to know anything about this particular project although the foundation stone was laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in 2013.
This project was conceived by former minister of urban development Badrinarayan Patra a few years before the formal foundation stone was laid by the CM.
‘The CM had set up a committee to look into projects which remained incomplete even after he laid the foundation stones.
And this is one of those projects,’ said a resident of Koelnaagar.
In 2014, water scarcity gripped several parts of the city and the district BJP chief, Dhiren Senapati, had then taken the opportunity to declare that the project was taken over by the Centre, as the BJP had come into power.
But that too, turned out to only a vocal promise.
Till date more than four surveys, regarding need, feasibility and other factors have been undertaken by different organisations.
Besides, on two occasions tenders have been cancelled at the last moment.
Finally, last year another survey was carried out and it was found that more than the government, large tracts of private lands would be required for the project.
So, the bridge was shifted two kilometres down the stream near Hamirpur as it is much deeper there, so more water can be stored.
Irrigation department insiders say the executing authority are not too hopeful of the project as they have not received any letter of intent either from the ministry of urban development or Rourkela Steel Plant, which is also a stake holder in the project.
When this was brought to the notice of MLA Rourklela, Subrat Tarai, as the Hamirpur comes in his constituency, he said, ‘I have not followed up with the project off late, so it will be wrong to say anything as this will give a wrong message.’
Speaking on the project a few days back, Chief Engineer Mahanadi Upper Basin, Sunil Nayak, who will be overall in charge of the project said, ‘I am not in the know of things as have joined a month back.’