Binjharpur: After a long gap of 40 years, farmers under this block of Jajpur district have found a reason to smile as they will be relieved of their longstanding irrigation problem. This appears true, after the state government gave approval for construction of nine barrages on the Kharasrota river and sanctioned Rs 396.27 crore for the purpose. The barrages will help check rain water from overflowing into the sea and store it for future use.
An elaborate plan has been prepared to implement the project successfully. Among the barrages, two will be constructed on the river in Bari block, five in Binjharpur block and one each in Aul and Rajkanika blocks of neighbouring Kendrapara district.
The construction cost of the barrage on the river at Saidpur panchayat is Rs 47.86 crore while for the one in Chandramu panchayat, it is Rs 60.82 crore. Similarly, Rs 52.32 crore has been sanctioned for the barrage in Kantipur panchayat, Rs 54.08 crore for the one in Fatepur panchayat and Rs 35.95 crore for one at Bangara panchayat.
The matter came to the fore after Odisha Revenue Minister who is also the local MLA Pramila Mallick, gave the information during a press conference Friday at the Circuit House in Jajpur. After the news became public, a local outfit – ‘Kharasrota Banchao Sangathan’ – thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for fulfilling a long standing demand of the farmers.
Reports said that the ‘Kharasrota Banchao Sangathan’ has been spearheading an agitation for a long time demanding for construction of barrages on the river. Vegetable cultivation was once the mainstay of farmers living in the Kharasrota valley area, but now it has shrunk due to paucity of water.
Leaders of the outfit Atal Bihari Nayak, Harekrushna Panda, Gobind Samal, Saifur Raheman and Ashdulla Kahan said though late, the decision of the state government to construct the barrages on Kharasrota river is ‘very laudable’.