Bhubaneswar, Aug 10: Decades back, Gajapati district was carved out of undivided Ganjam district on October 2, 1992. But that is history. The latest development is, there is a new demand for one more division of Ganjam district again.
On Thursday, a 12-hour bandh was observed in Aska town to press the demand for formation of the new district. The 12-hour bandh led by local lawyers under the banner 'Milita Kriyanusthan Committee' was supported by locals, revealed sources.
Several residents of Aska and adjoining blocks of Ganjam district have been demanding creation of separate 'Rushikulya' district. The new district as per their demand would comprise of at least eight blocks - Aska, Dharakote, Sheragada, Sanakhemundi, Kabisuryanagar, Beguniapada, Polsara and Hinjilicut. As per census, the population in these eight blocks would be more than 15 lakh, sources said.
The leaders demanding formation of 'Rushikulya' district have been arguing that in the recent by-poll in Padmapur in Western Odisha, the ruling regime in Odisha promised to form a new district 'Padmapur', which consists of only three blocks. If three blocks can constitute a new district, then why our demand for formation of 'Rushikulya' district with eight blocks not be accepted, they quizzed.
Worth mentioning that Rushikulya is one of the major rivers of Southern Odisha, which is famous for nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles.
River Rushikulya originates in Kandhamal district from Rushimala Hills (part of Daringbadi Hills of the Eastern Ghats range). The river after originating from Kandhamal district, enters Ganjam district as it flows through Surada, Dharakote, Asika, Pitala, Purusottampur, Taratarini, Pratappur, Alladigam, Brahmapur, Ganjam and Chhatrapur block.
If the state government finally okays formation of 'Rushikulya' district, then Ganjam district would be re-divided again, sources added.