Aradi: The Irrigation Department constructs new sluice gates over river dams at different places, repairs old ones and strengthens the weak ones before the onset of monsoon.
However, construction of a sluice gate on Baitarani River dam near Kulasahi of Dhamnagar block, started about eight months back, is still lying incomplete. Besides, the river dam that was cut wide open for constructing a 40ft-long sluice gate is also lying open dangerously.
Notably, the met department has predicted that the monsoon will hit Odisha around June 17. The possibility of floods in this region cannot be ruled out.
Incessant rains can affect livelihood of people of 50 villages of Dhamnagar and Chandbali blocks. The chief occupation of the villagers of this area is agriculture.
As the rainy season is approaching, the tardy pace of river dam repair and the sluice gate construction work have added to the apprehensions of villagers. Though the locals have brought these issues before the authorities, nothing has been done so far. Now, they have questioned the sincerity of departmental officials and warned them of agitation.
A social worker of Kulasahi village, Kapildeb Biswal, has said, “I am afraid that the sluice gate work will not be completed before the rainy season. I anticipate that the entire region will be heavily affected by flood, during monsoon rain”.
In reaction to this, the departmental sub-divisional officer, Bhubanananda Mohanty, said, “We are in receipt of the complaints of Kulasahi villagers and upon our enquiry, the contractor concerned has committed to complete the construction work ahead of time”.
The Irrigation Department is giving high importance to timely completion of the work and hopeful that all works will be completed within the stipulated time limit, he asserted.