Soubhaya Patra of Bukabeda village under Tileibani block of the district had planted 200 saplings in his 12 acres of land. He had hoped that the deep bore-well dug up in 2010 by the Lift Irrigation Corporation would irrigate the plants and his struggle days would be over.
Two years later, Patra is planning to cut down the trees and sell it as firewood. Even as the saplings grew up, they have dried in absence of irrigation. The deep bore-well is not operational even after a couple of years.
The lift irrigation point has not been provided with electricity connection and pump to irrigate the fields. Now, he is demanding compensation for his loss.
Other farmers like Biranchi Narayan Pradhan and Budhuram Budha of Cheplipali and Rajesh Swain of Purunagarh also face similar fate. They also preferred to go for deep bore-well in same year and had deposited `20,000 with the Water Resources Department. However, they have also not been got the irrigation facility.
Distressed by indifference of the authorities, another farmer, Amulya Sahu of Kanhaimunda village in Tinkbir gram panchayat under Reamal block of the district, moved the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on February 11.
Acting on Consumer Court directive, the Department provided a pump to Amulya in five days. But, power supply still remains a distant dream.
According to reports, under much-hyped Biju Krushak Yojana, 180 deep bore-wells were dug up across the district in 2010 to promote irrigation. However, only 20 of them were made operational. Non-functioning of the bore-wells has left the farmers in a lurch.
In Kharif season, 29 per cent of cultivable land in the district get irrigation and 18 per cent in rabi. With no industries to fall on to eke out a living, agriculture continues to be the main source of livelihood of the people.
Executive Engineer of Lift Irrigation Department Ashok Das said the firm which was assigned the job has not executed the work. The security deposit of the contractor has been withheld by the Department and steps have been initiated to make all the deep bore-wells functional and strengthen irrigation.