A protest march was organized in front of the Palamu District Collectorate in Daltonganj on 29 January 2019 with the demand to use the Mandal Dam water fully for irrigation in drought-stricken Palamu District instead of allowing it to flow into Bihar. The protest march began from Shivaji Maidan and proceeded via Chhahmuhan, Kachahari Chowk, and Sahitya Samaj Chowk to culminate in a meeting at the Division HQ on Police Line Road.
The speakers addressing the meeting said that Jharkhand’s Palamu District is deprived in all matters. This area has neither farming and irrigation resources, nor any means of livelihood. This area is lacking even in basic facilities and is abysmally neglected in education, health, and rural development. Irrigation projects such as Mandal, Amanat, Kanhar, and Uprega have been pending for long years in Palamu. If these projects are utilized for farming and irrigation works in Palamu, large scale creation of means of livelihood will become possible. The speakers said that the most painful aspect is that almost all dams in Jharkhand are constructed for the profit of corporate industry at the cost of irrigation and agricultural development. In return, Jharkhand gets nothing except displacement, unemployment and migration. Therefore, the slogan of ‘Oust BJP-Save Jharkhand’ must resound in the coming election in order to change this pro-corporate policy. After the meeting, a memorandum was submitted to the Commissioner with the demand to make an effective project for irrigation in Palamu with water from the Mandal Dam.