The dam project on the river Indra began in 2000. The project was to consume 10 villages fully and 2/3rds of 19 more villages. It is to officially submerge 2,646 hectares of fertile agricultural land and 2,120 hectares of common forestry resources.
The displaced people organised themselves to form the Lower Indra Bisthapita Sahayata Samiti, TIkhili of Nuapada district and took out a massive rally in December 2012 in Khariar town. Protests continued but the state government never seriously responded to the demands of the displaced villagers.
This area was known for organic rice cultivation and the people have saved some rice seeds and contributed them to ‘The Sovereign Forest’ and other organic growers to save and sustain its cultivation. The agonies of displacement have been captured in the poetry of a farmer, who calls himself ‘The Wicked Poet’.