Maneswar: Hundreds of farmers under this block in Sambalpur district are in a state of panic fearing severe crop loss as their farms have been denied irrigation facility over last four to five days following a 50-ft breach on the Huma canal.
Agricultural activities at Parmanpur, Vikampur, Mundhenpali, Kabarapali, Bhoipali, Bairagipali, Jhankarpali, Halipali, Chhatabar, Batemura, Sahaspur and Huma regions were severely affected after the breach, it was learnt.
Farmers demanded a high level probe to find out the reason for the breach since lakhs of rupees were spent last year for the repair of the canal.
According to reports, water from Hirakud reservoir was the only source of irrigation for hundreds of farmers under this block as cultivation was hit by inconsistent rain this year. The stoppage of water supply through canal is like a bolt from the blue for the farmers, some paddy growers of the affected area said.
The crops would get damaged unless the saplings get enough water over next 2/3 days, they said. The farmers blamed poor quality concrete work and stone packing on canal bank for the breach and sought an investigation into the incident. They also demanded the repair of the breach on a war-footing to save cultivation in the block.
When contacted, sub-divisional officer S Panda of water resources department said the breach was spotted Sunday morning. Following this, the water supply has been stopped since the maintenance is going on at a fast pace. “We expect to release water into the canal Thursday,” Panda said.
Explaining the cause of breach, junior engineer Anjan Nayak said there was a small hole between the concrete and earthen portions. The hole turned into a breach after the release of water for irrigation purpose, Nayak added. The incident took place as water more than the bearing capacity of the canal was released to help out the farmers, he further said. PNN