Kaniha: Minor irrigation projects (MIPs) play a vital role in boosting agriculture, but two such projects in Kaniha area of Angul district have been left neglected since 2004.
The two projects reportedly fail to deliver as their renovation has been botched up. Local farmers expressed displeasure over the fate of the projects.
According to reports, the two irrigation projects are at Kulama panchayat. The state government had sanctioned Rs 70 lakh for their renovation in 2004.
The renovation of the projects was allegedly botched up while the outlet area of the projects has not been done properly. “As a result, water fails to come to the farmlands. The contractor and the officials of the minor irrigation department are responsible for the mess,” local farmers alleged.
Local farmers of Kulama had drawn the attention of an Assembly House Committee towards the irregularities in the irrigation projects, June 23.
The copies of their complaint were given to the Collector, the executive engineer of the MIP, MLAs of Pallahada and Talcher.
According to farmers Krushna Chandra Pradhan, Bhaskar Samal and Prassana Sahu, Rs 36.88 lakh had been sanctioned for Telapasi minor irrigation project and Rs 35.82 lakh for the Nuababandh MIP.
The renovation work was being done under the supervision of assistant engineer of Talcher MIP, but the contractor messed up the work to mint money while the two projects are not workable for the benefit of farmers. No action was taken against the errant contractor, they alleged, demanding an investigation into the botched-up renovation work of the projects.
Birendra Kumar Jagat, assistant engineer of the Talcher MIP sub-division, said, “The renovation was not botched up. The work was done under the monitoring of the locals and Pani Panchayat members. The project work is yet to be completed while bill of the contractor has not been cleared. The allegation of irregularity is baseless. I welcome an investigation into the work.”