BARIPADA: The farmers of Hatibari and adjoining villages in Karanjia sub division of Mayurbhanj are a happy lot as the Deo irrigation project released water on an experimental basis on Friday, 29 years after its inception. The multi-purpose project was hanging fire due to factors like delay in land acquisition and irregular allocation of funds by the State government.
The cost of the project, envisaged in June 1992 to help farmers in both Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts, had gone up from Rs52 crore to Rs900 crore. Former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik laid the foundation stone.
The project was inaugurated in presence of Keonjhar Lok Sabha member Chandrani Murmu, Karanjia MLA Basanti Hembram, SP of Mayurbhanj Parmar Smit Parshottamdas,
Sub Collector of Karanjia Rajanikanta Biswal said the project is slated to irrigate 900 hectare of land for different agricultural activities and benefit around 100 villages in both the districts. The water, which flowed 30 km through the canal after inauguration, will initially cover 3,500 hectare during the ongoing kharif season.
“The district administration has released water for the first time from the right side canal of the project and will release from the left side very soon,” said Mayurbhanj Collector Vineet Bhardwaj. Former sarpanch of Dudhiani panchayat, Krushnachandra Naik said this would usher in new hopes for the farmers of the areas under the project. Executive Engineer Anil Panigrahi said as many as 502 out of 1040 families in Dudhiani and Migriginandi gram panchayat from Karanjia block had been relocated for the project work.