Former minister returns sans laying foundation stone after locals oppose in Odisha’s Puri

Nimapada: Local MLA and former School & Mass Education minister Samir Ranjan Dash today returned without laying the foundation stone of a road project at Chakaroda village of Chhanijanga panchayat under Nimapada block in Puri district after locals opposed him and agitated at the site.

The Nimapada MLA was detained by incense villagers for a long time and his bodyguard attacked.

According to a source, Chakaroda does not have an all-weather road connecting Chari Chhaka-Gop main road with this village. The locals have been demanding a road for the past several years. Children face utter difficulties in reaching the nearby schools. Even to the extent, patients were unable to reach the hospitals for treatment by ambulance vehicles due to poor road conditions.

A total fund of Rs 20 lakh in two parts was previously allocated and the first phase of road laying work was started. Subsequently, the road laying work was left mid-way and another road project was planned for construction by the local MLA, rather than completing the under-construction road.

MLA Dash was more interested to construct a road from Keuta-Salada village by utilising the second part of the allocated funds and he had come to lay the foundation stone, a number of locals alleged.

“When we came to learn that the MLA is coming to lay the foundation stone of another road, this irked many of us and we decided to vehemently oppose him in doing so,” some locals expressed.

Hundreds of irate locals staged a roadblock and agitated in front of Nimapada block office. However, the agitation was withdrawn after getting a word of assurance from Puri Collector Samarth Verma.

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