JAGATSINGHPUR: Incessant rains for the last three days and non-release of water through river Hansua have led to artificial flooding in several areas of Raghunathpur, Jagatsinghpur, Tirtol and Erasama blocks. Stagnant water on crop fields has damaged paddy on nearly 25,000 hectares in the four blocks.
Farmers use the water of 98-km Hansua drainage channel, which extends from Kandarpur to Erasama, for transplantation of paddy crops during kharif season in the event of scanty rainfall and delay in supply of water for irrigation through lift irrigation points. Out of 17,806 hectares, 5,003 hectares are irrigated by Hansua in Erasama and the rest are non-irrigated.
Wednesday’s heavy rainfall led to paddy fields getting submerged under 4 to 5 feet water leading to fears of damage to paddy seedlings.
The farmers said heavy silt deposit and growth of weeds in Hansua has obstructed release of water into the channel.
Sources said the State Government had allocated `12 crore in 2015-16 for renovation of Hansua by dredging it up to 40 km. Erection of seven bridges for farmers to go to their paddy field in the event of waterlogging was also a part of the project. But no fund has yet been allocated for dredging the remaining distance of 58 km as a result rainwater could not be released due to heavy siltation, said sources.
Farmers have demanded dredging of Hansua channel and Jatadhari river mouth to release excess water and avert waterlogging. Dredging can help flow of rainwater till the tail-end areas without delay besides averting waterlogging on paddy field, the farmers said. Executive Engineer, Drainage division, Ashish Kumar Mishra said renovation is on and construction of bridges will be completed soon. “Deposit of weeds has resulted in non-release of rainwater and its cleaning has been affected due to fund crunch,” he added.