Bhubaneswar: In a bid to boost irrigation facilities in the state, the Odisha government has decided to construct around 1,000 bridge-cum-weirs (low dams). These will not only improve the irrigation facilities in the state, but will also be a source of drinking water. The project is expected to be completed in the next three years, officials informed Monday.
Ealier, a few bridge-cum-weir had been constructed in Odisha. Seeing the overall impact of the project quite positive, the state government has decided to build more such bridge-cum-weirs. In the past, opposition parties has criticised the state government for not developing better water storage facilities.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra had earlier stated that the bridge-cim-weir facilities have many advantages. First, it is a cost-effective technology, secondly raises the water level in river beds, irrigating the land on both sides of the river.
While reviewing the project, Sunday, Mahapatra had said that, riverfront parks can also be developed as a public utility with the help of such projects.
Development Commissioner PK Jena has informed that the structures did not have any adverse effect on the usual flow of water in the river concerned.
Works Secretary VV Yadav informed that around 49 bridges had been taken up for such structures on a pilot basis. Out of this, the structures 12 bridges were completed in districts of Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj and Bhadrakh.
The remaining 37 structures would come up in the districts of Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Ganjam, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Bolangir and Sundargarh.
The Horticulture department has been asked to motivate the farmers to cultivate vegetables and cash crops. The water could also be used for drinking water projects wherever necessary, the chief secretary said during the meeting Sunday.