Deprived of irrigation water for 39 years, farmers urge repair of canal pipelines in Odisha

Farmers alleged that lakhs of government funds had also been sanctioned for repair but the officials allegedly misappropriated the sum leaving the issue unattended.
The Kharkai canal in Rairangpur
The Kharkai canal in Rairangpur Photo | Express

BARIPADA: Peeved over the alleged failure in receiving water for irrigation since almost four decades owing to non-repair of damaged pipelines, farmers of villages under Rairangpur sub-division have sought their revival soon.

Sources said though the state government had set up the Kharkai canal for supply of irrigation water to the areas through pipelines, farmers of Shyamsundarpur, Badasahi, Karansahi, Dhadasahi, Rakhasahi and Kapilasahi under Kusumi block and Sindurgouri and Mahisaneda under Rairangpur block under the sub-division could not receive any owing to leakage in the pipelines, since 1985.

Farmers alleged that lakhs of government funds had also been sanctioned for repair of the pipelines but the officials concerned allegedly misappropriated the sum leaving the issue unattended till now. Since the issue remained unresolved, farmers said they had to depend on rainwater for cultivation. They further demanded that a high-level inquiry be initiated into the matter.

“Over 600 metre pipelines were made to directly supply water to our farmlands but they functioned well just for two years from 1983-85. After that, almost 90 per cent of the pipelines got damaged leading to water leakage and its failure in reaching our areas,” the farmers complained.

They said they had taken the issue to the district administration several times in the past but to no avail. “We demand that a high-level inquiry be conducted into the matter and steps taken to resolve the issue before arrival of monsoon,” they said.

Assistant engineer of Rairangpur lift irrigation division Arun Kumar Giri said that the department recently sent a letter to Government and request to provide funds for the repair of the pipelines, but no fund is received yet.

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