BARGARH:A 30-ft breach in the arterial canal of Bargarh main canal has damaged standing crops in over 40 acres of land in Bargaon and Baragad villages of Bargarh block.
Sources said the arterial canal on Saturday night breached near Bargaon where the main canal diversifies towards Bheden before merging with river Mahanadi. The arterial canal flows for 29.61 kms and irrigates about 12,543 hectares of land in Bargarh and Bheden blocks.
Soon after receiving information, irrigation officials closed gate no-86 of the main canal to stop further damage to the crop and prevent sand-casting.
The breach has left the farmers devastated as the crop was to ripen in a few days and harvested thereafter. The breach is also set to hit irrigation downstream in Bheden block.
A farmer of Baragad village Narayan Pradhan, whose standing crop in six acres has been rendered sand-cast, said the loss is irreparable and would also have a bearing on the crop in the ensuing kharif season as removing the sand would be an arduous task. The farmers have demanded immediate repair of the breach and payment of compensation for the damaged crop.
Executive Engineer, Irrigation, Satya Narayan Dhal said repair of the breach has been started on a war-footing and water supply for irrigation would be restored soon. Although repair and maintenance of embankments is being undertaken regularly, holes dug by rodents pose a threat, he added.
SAMBALPUR: Another breach was also reported in Sason Canal near Talab village on Saturday night. As the breach was minor in nature, villagers blocked the flow of water with sand bags.
Water for irrigation has already been released into the canal and there is no report of any major loss or damage to the crop.