BHUBANESWAR: The Chief Minister’s announcement for augmentation of water resources in the State with an investment of `75,000 crore in next five years has come in for severe criticism from the BJP.
Dubbing the announcement as another election gimmick, State BJP general secretary Brugu Baxipatra said the grandiose plan of the Government came too late. “Who will believe this Government which has failed to complete a single mega irrigation project in the last 19 years. Where will the Rs 75,000 crore come from?,” Baxipatra wondered.
Though the Chief Minister has been promising a lot on the irrigation sector since 2000, he has not fulfilled a single promise. In its 2009 election manifesto, the BJD had promised to create irrigation potential of at least 35 per cent of the cultivable area in each block. As per the Government report, 92 out of 314 blocks are still below the target.Though the Government claimed to have provided 35 per cent irrigation facility in 106 blocks during this period, the ground reality is something different, he said.
Questioning the Government’s claim of creating additional irrigation potential for more than four lakh hectares in the last three years, the BJP leader said if that is true then why so many farmers are committing suicide die to crop loss.
“The Chief Minister realised the need for a comprehensive river policy in the last year of his fourth term in office. This shows the seriousness of the Government and its commitment for the farmers,” Baxipatra said.
The ruling party must explain to the people what prevented them to plan for such a mega project earlier and who stopped them from constructing barrages on the rivers of the State.Recalling that the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of an irrigation project on the river Mahendratanaya in 2008, he said the project is yet to start while the Neredi barrage initiated by Andhra Pradesh Government the same year has been completed.