Odisha: Action group to save Baitarani formed in Keonjhar

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Report by Malaya Mohapatra, Keonjhar: A district level Action group to save Baitarani was formed under the leadership of Waterman Rajendra Singh in Keonjhar. During a discussion with the citizens and activists concerned for the threat on River Baitarani, Sudarsan Das, convenor Agami Odisha shared his experience in fighting for Mahanadi in the National green tribunal and his success in getting a stay order on the un commissioned projects carried by Chattisgarh govt. Several movements to save Baitarani River has taken place in different forums and groups but the crisis still remains unsolved. Hence to consolidate and unite all these forums this Action Group should work in a systematic manner to prevent exploitation, encroachment and pollution of Baitarani, the life line of Keonjhar district, Rajendra singh said. Already the Govt is keen to supply Baitarani water to mines and industry for iron transportation, washing and other needs without any concern for drinking water, irrigation and other eco-systems. Already the flow of this sacred river has been decreasing due to depletion of forest and rampant soil erosion in the catchment area. There is a threat to the river as some of its tributaries have already started dying. The Dist Action group has decided to meet on 9th August to finalise the course of action to save Baitarani, said Dhirendra Rout, President Progressive citizens forum. During the occasion, Sudarsan Das and Rajendra Singh were felicitated by different forums for their action to save Mahanadi in Odisha. The meeting was organized by progressive citizens forum and Green Rotary club where representatives from media, Bar association, citizens forum and other intellectuals were present.

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