Government focus eludes defunct lift irrigation points - The New Indian Express

Government focus eludes defunct lift irrigation points

Published: 24th May 2013 10:35 AM

Last Updated: 24th May 2013 10:35 AM

Even as the State Government has promised to develop a separate feeder for energisation of lift irrigation points and deep bore-wells, no serious efforts are made to repair the defunct ones.

While the number of defunct LI points in Sambalpur district is reported to be about 300, more than 300 LI points have remained defunct in 26 blocks of Mayurbhanj district.

Sources in the Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC) put the figure of defunct LI points at about 8,000.

The State Government made an ambitious plan last year to instal one lakh bore-wells in the State in three years to overcome the water scarcity for irrigation. Besides, the other objective was to ensure assured irrigation to at least 35 per cent of cultivable land of each block.

The plan envisaged creation of irrigation potential for 10 lakh hectares during kharif season and two lakh hectares in rabi.

The State Government launched the deep bore-well scheme under Biju Krushak Vikash Yojana in 2010-11 with a target to sink 50,000 bore-wells by January, 2014. However, the programme remained a non-starter till the end of last year due to lack of cooperation from the power distribution companies.Official sources said so far about 13,000 deep bore-wells have been installed under the programme. However, only 3,000 points have been given electricity and, therefore, the remaining bore-wells could not be made operational.

Collector of a coastal district said energisation of new lift points and the deep bore-wells is not possible due to lack of infrastructure in some places and non-cooperation of the distribution companies at other places.

Admitting that theft of conductors and transformers is rampant in rural areas, the district Collector said the power distribution companies (distcoms) are non-committal to government programmes.

Initially, the cost of each bore-well was Rs  2.5 lakh and was revised to Rs  3.15 lakh including electrical sub-station, power line and pumping units. However, the contribution of the beneficiary has remained constant at Rs 20,000.

Meanwhile, the State Government has directed the district collectors to ensure that separate feeder line for LI points and deep bore-well points are planned where cluster of irrigation points are waiting for energisation. “Minimum 100 LI/bore well points may be taken into consideration for cluster as sufficient number to make installation of separate feeder cost effective with supply of quality power,” a recent circular from the Energy Department said.

But, such an arrangement will not benefit a large number of framers, said sources in the Agriculture Department.

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