KENDRAPARA: Renovation of the 153-year-old Gobari canal in Kendrapara town will soon be taken up under the Canal Lining and System Rehabilitation Programme (CLSRP). The State government has recently granted Rs 26.2 crore for the purpose. The 25-km long canal, which originates at Gahaga and ends in Gandakhia village, has been choked due to siltation, pollution and lack of maintenance.
Executive Engineer of Irrigation Division, Kendrapara Prabodh Rout said three years back, the Water Resources department had submitted a proposal to renovate the canal. On August 19, the State government sanctioned Rs 26.2 crore for the work.
In the first phase, restoration work will be carried out on three km stretch of the canal. The work is expected to be completed within two years. Illegal structures and encroachments on either side of the canal will be demolished during the renovation, Rout informed.
Constructed for navigation and irrigation purposes way back in 1868, Gobari canal is now clogged with untreated garbage and weeds and is virtually dead. While the canal’s role in communication has lessened with improved road connectivity over the years, it was facilitating irrigation in surrounding areas.
However, farmers of villages situated near Gobari are suffering as water has stopped flowing in the canal due to heavy silt. After completion of renovation work, farmers can easily irrigate their land. Besides, it will restore the aquatic ecosystem in the area which has been affected due to the clogged canal.