Farmers dependent on Sason Canal for irrigation water have been left in the lurch. The canal under Hirakud Dam Reservoir (HDR) has failed to discharge water for the third consecutive day on Sunday.
As per reports, every year water is released through the Sason canal on June 15 to facilitate farmers undertake agricultural activities for the kharif crop. However, with the monsoon failing the farmers and no rain reported for more than a fortnight, failure to release water in the canal has upset the agricultural plans of the farmers.
It is learnt that water is at a distance of 1 km from the Head Regulator of Sason canal which has made it impossible to release water. Sources in the dam said that the water level in HDR is at 595.81 feet and unless more water is received, it cannot be released. Water level has to be above the Head Regulator to ensure that it flows into the canal on release. With water a km down the mark, releasing it into the canal only looks remote.
In 2005, the water discharge was delayed by 12 days and for 17 days in 2006. It had triggered widespread agitation by farmers who suspected that water was being diverted to industries from the HDR.
Subsequently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after a discussion with farmers declared that ‘not a single drop of water meant for irrigation would be diverted to industries’. He had even announced a package of ` 200 crore for renovation of the canal and dredging to enhance the water capacity of HDR. For the next three years - 2008, 2009 and 2010 - water was released into the canal in time due to dredging while in 2011 timely monsoon ensured smooth release of water. This year, things look bleak with the monsoon failing and no dredging work taken up.