NABARANGPUR: The inordinate delay in implementing the much-hyped Turi-Guntat Medium Irrigation (MI) project in the district has affected the farmers of Indravati sub-basin’s downstream areas. Approved in 2016 by the Central Water Commission (CWC), the project aims at irrigating 23,000 acres of land in 35 villages of Kosagumuda and Nabarangpur blocks of the district, besides providing drinking water facilities to people living in the command areas of each barrage. The most important feature of the proposed project was there would no displacement and environmental adverse impact. The district has a total of 1.85 lakh hectares (ha) of cultivable land of which, 1.56 lakh ha are high and medium land that depend on rain water as there are no irrigation facilities. Erratic rainfall and lack of irrigation facilities have crippled the agriculture system in the district.
After Upper Indravati Project was completed in 1999, water of the river and its tributaries was diverted to Kalahandi district leaving Nabarangpur farmers high and dry. The Upper Indravati Project comprises four rivers - Indravati, Padagad, Kapur and Muran. While Indravati originates from Kalahandi, 45 kms from the dam site situated in Nabarangpur, the other three rivers belong to Nabarangpur and Koraput districts. Initially, it was planned to irrigate 1,82,000 acres of land of the district by constructing dams across Padagad, Kapur and Muran rivers.
The proposed irrigation project is an integrated diversion scheme. It envisages construction of two barrages one each across Turi and Guntat river. While Turi is a left tributary of Indravatim Guntat is a sub-tributary of Turi. The proposed project will be located on Godavari basin of Indravati in the district. Both the rivers meet near Siuni village, 3.5 km downstream of the proposed barrage sites and then finally meet Indravati river near Debraguda village in Kosagumuda block. It was proposed to construct a barrage of 136 m length across river Turi near Chatahandi village and another barrage of 98 m length across Guntat river near Deula village.
Though two years have been passed, no step has been taken in this regard despite several appeals to the State Government by the people of Nabarangpur. According to retired local irrigation engineers, the Turi-Guntant project was planned 35 years back.
Had it been implemented then, it would have changed the living standard of the farmers now. They estimated that the local farmers have already lost `35000 crore agricultural income due to inordinate delay in implementing the irrigation project.
The project aims at irrigating 23,000 acres of land in 35 villages of Kosagumuda and Nabarangpur blocks
The district has a total of 1.85 lakh ha of cultivable land of which, 1.56 lakh ha are high and medium land that depend on rain water as there are no irrigation facilities
The proposed irrigation project is an integrated diversion scheme
It envisages construction of two barrages one each across Turi and Guntat river
The proposed project will be located on Godavari basin of Indravati in the district