Khaira: Drought situation loomed large in most parts of Khaira block in Balasore district due to poor rainfall. Scores of lift irrigation projects in the area are left defunct. Though farmers have been demanding their renovation for a long time, the authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to the plight of farmers.
Locals said had the lift irrigation points been ready by this time, they would have been coming handy at this time. At least, farmers could have saved their crops from drought.
Farmlands are not dry while thousands of farmers are sitting idle worrying for the extensive crop loss.
According to reports, paddy is cultivated in 19400 hectares in this block. Only 9000 hectares are irrigated while reining farmlands solely fed by rain.
Besides, 2000 hectares are irrigated by shallow wells and bore wells.
As per information available from the lift irrigation department, there were 98 lift irrigation projects in the area in 2019. They used to supply water to 2000 hectares alone.
In the last two years, 53 lift irrigation points have become defunct while 27 shallow points are not working.
Locals said the department has claimed in records that it has operationalised 45 lift irrigation points in the current year, but in fact only 8 have been in use form farming.
It was alleged that lakhs of rupees were spent for repair of two lift irrigation points near Mirzapur village in Sardang panchayat two years ago, but they are not useful for farmers.
Similarly, a lift irrigation point in Goliha panchayat has been defunct for a long time.
Contacted, Suresh Chandra Dey, assistant engineer of the lift irrigation department said that some points are repaired every year, but most of them get defunct due to electrical problem.