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Jatadhari river awaits de-siltation, locals suffer

Nearly 25,000 ha of paddy crops across Balikuda, Erasama, Tirtol, Raghunathpur, Biridi and Jagatsinghpur blocks are inundated due to non-drainage of rainwater.

Published: 27th August 2020 09:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2020 09:47 AM   |  A+A-

Paddy fields submerged in rainwater in Jagatsinghpur

Paddy fields submerged in rainwater in Jagatsinghpur I Express

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR:  With no steps taken for dredging of the heavily silted Jatadhari river mouth, despite intervention of the State Water Resources Minister and local MLA Raghunandan Das, as many as 80 villages under Balikuda and Erasama continue to suffer from acute waterlogging conditions.

Construction of prawn gheries around the river mouth has compounded the problem by blocking water drainage.

Nearly 25,000 ha of paddy crops across Balikuda, Erasama, Tirtol, Raghunathpur, Biridi and Jagatsinghpur blocks are inundated due to non-drainage of rainwater.

In Tirtol, Balikuda and Erasama blocks, rainwater drains into the Jatadhari river whose mouth has been choking due deposition of silt and heaps of sand at many places.

Unless the latter is desilted, there is no way to prevent waterlogging in areas concerned. No permanent measure to facilitate draining of rainwater has been taken by the Irrigation department despite the problem emerging every year. Moreover, owners of the illegal prawn gheris exert local influence, pleas for their eviction have fallen flat.

Admitting that mouth of Jatadhari river is clogged, Erasama tehsildar Chittaranjan Mahanta said, “Dredging is urgently required.

Nearly 20 prawn enclosures erected at the river mouth and other locations are obstructing release of rain and flood water. The administration has evicted 15 of them but has not been able to raze the remaining gheris as owners are influential.”

Farmers’ leaders like Prasan Kumar Kuanr and Niranjan Das also expressed unhappiness over the fact that the problem - which has been affecting locals for decades now - is yet to be addressed despite the area coming under the Water Resources Minister’s constituency.

Executive engineer of Drainage Division Ashish Kumar Mishra informed the Irrigation department has estimated Rs 5.5 crore for desiliting Jatadhari river mouth.

“The proposal was submitted to higher authorities for approval. Dredging will start once funds are released,” he added.



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