JEYPORE: A major portion of a bridge over an irrigation canal at Ekamba village in Jeypore block caved in blocking water supply to around 2000 acres of rabi crop fields.
Farmers alleged that due to lack of maintenance by Kolab irrigation project officials, the bridge over Dhanpur-Umuri minor canal has collapsed. While hundreds of heavy vehicles of East Coast Railway (ECoR) ply on the bridge daily, no step has been taken by the authorities for its repair and regular maintenance. As a result, a major portion of the bridge has collapsed blocking irrigation water to rabi crop fields.
According to sources, about 500 farmers of Umurba and Dhanpur panchayats under Jeypore block had cultivated rabi paddy over 2000 acres of land by getting irrigation water from Dhanpur-Umuri minor canal. While the crops are now at flowering stage, lack of water will affect the plants. Similarly, large chunks of crop fields in Ghatbagara areas have been damaged due to Crop Residue Burning (CRB) owing to non-supply of water from Dhanpur canal system, they said and demanded immediate repair of the bridge and water supply to their farm lands.
Meanwhile, hundreds of farmers of Ghatbagara staged demonstration in front of Jeypore Upper Kolab office demanding water supply to their agriculture lands.Later, panchayat leaders of Dhanpur, Ekamba and Umuri appealed to the district collector to take early action in the matter and save rabi paddy crops. Executive Engineer of Upper Kolab irrigation department UR Bhotra assured the farmers to resolve the issue after discussing with the ground-level officials.