Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput, Dec 9:
The Gulumi waterfall, one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Odisha’s Koraput district, is under threat due to industrialisation.
According to reports, the Odisha government had signed a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh-based Shrabani Energy Pvt Ltd in 2006 for a 15 MW hydroelectric project.
Though the company is yet to get stage-2 forest clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), it has undertaken illegal construction in the forest land.
“Roads are being laid from Kermeti to Guliguda within reserved forest under Kundura Forest Division”, said the state forum of Utkal Sammilani.
A team of the Forum, led by Binod Mohapatra, vice president of Utkal Sammilani, former chairman of Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) Radhanath Mohapatra and retired superintending engineer of the state Electricity department Kedarnath Behera had visited Guliguda last week for an on-the-spot study.
The Forum later submitted a detailed report to the chief secretary.
“How could the government sign the MoU with a private company threatening the environment and its inhabitants?” questioned a local resident.
It may be noted that local residents are bracing for ‘Gulumi Banchao Andolan’ to protest against the power plant and its illegal activities within the forest range.
The Gulumi waterfall, which connects both Indravati and Kolab rivers, lies near Dumajodi along the Jarayu river bed.
The adjoining sand bed has the largest quicksand of Odisha.
Besides, the adjoining forest is replete with rich flora and fauna.