JHARSUGUDA: At a time when farmers of the district are struggling for irrigation water, a mega lift irrigation point has been lying defunct for the last seven years.
The mega lift irrigation point at Talpatia on river Ib was installed at `45 lakh provided by Western Odisha Development Council (WODC). The then Water Resources Minister Mangala Kisan had laid the foundation stone way back on November 11, 2002 in the presence of former Jharsuguda MLA Kishore Mohanty.
Subsequently, it was commissioned the next year with a target to irrigate 120 hectares of land.
The project was managed by Talpatia Pani Panchayat and water was drawn through three 35 HP motor pumps. The lift irrigation point irrigated the targeted land and farmers were happy with the result as it helped them in drought proofing during kharif and rabi seasons.
Some years later though, members of Pani Panchayat did not collect dues from persons who used the lift irrigation point and failed to clear the electricity bill for several months. When the arrear mounted to `60,000, Wesco disconnected power supply.
The transformer installed for the mega lift irrigation point was stolen twice and one among the three motor pumps went defunct. Although efforts were made to restart the project many a time, it did not yield any response.
Pani Panchayat president Sandeep Sakunia and secretary Hiralal Tandia said they were trying to rope in all farmers who were using the mega lift irrigation point to decide on the fate of the project.