BHUBANESWAR: Even as 120 blocks of Odisha do not have irrigation facility for about 35 per cent of the cultivable area, the State Government’s mega lift irrigation programme has failed to create additional irrigation potential.
The State Government had announced its plan in 2010 to create additional irrigation potential for about three lakh hectares (ha) in rain-fed areas in five years through mega lift irrigation projects. However, only one project has been executed at Loitara under Kesinga block in Kalahandi district.
The Government had planned to set up 100 mega lift irrigation projects. It took up 28 projects in the first phase in 2013 with an estimated cost of `685 crore to provide irrigation to rainfed areas of Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur and Boudh districts.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Loitara mega lift irrigation project on Saturday.
Work on the other 27 projects are nearing completion and these projects will be commissioned very shortly. On commissioning of these projects, about 35,450 ha will be covered under assured irrigation, sources in the Water Resources Department said.
The sources further claimed that another 40 mega lift irrigation projects taken up in the second phase at an estimated cost of `1118 crore are in different stages of implementation.
Work order will be issued for another 34 mega lift points by the end of this month and these projects are estimated to cost `1234 crore. Besides, works on Upper Indravati lift canal with an estimated cost of `986.71 crore have started.
On completion of these projects, irrigation potential for 1.17 lakh ha will be created in 16 districts. The districts which will benefit include Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Cutttack, Angul, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Koraput, Malkangiri, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nabarangpur.
A latest report of the department stated that 31,414 deep bore wells have been sunk since 2010-11 and handed over to the beneficiaries. As many as 5,076 deep bore wells were energised and handed over during the current fiscal till the end of November.
The operation and maintenance of the projects will be the responsibility of the executing agency for a period of five years.