Nayagarh: Agriculture in Nayagarh district is suffering as many of the deep lift irrigation (LI) projects have been lying defunct for a long time. Sources said Monday that most of the LI projects are of no use for cultivation. As per a government report, 428 out of 1,323 deep-lift irrigation projects in this district have become useless.
However, sources said that more than 800 LI projects are lying defunct in this district. They pointed out that the government is spending huge amounts for installation of this particular type of irrigation project. What, however, surprises them is that no review is being done as to whether the projects are running smoothly or not.
Sources informed that Ranpur block with 580 has the highest number of LI projects. Nuagaon block has 290, Odagaon block 273, Nayagarh 108. The remaining LI projects are scattered over various other blocks. Out of the 1,323 projects, 1,265 run on power while the remaining 58 are solar-powered ones. The government report states that these LI projects have been set up to provide water to 6,615 hectares of farmland during cultivation. Sadly the report also states that 2,090 hectares of farmland do not get any water through irrigation as 428 LI projects do not function properly. To help farmers get proper supply of water, the state government decided to install 400 deep lift irrigation projects in FY 2021-22. So far 272 projects have been completed, out of which 58 failed to produce any water. In essence, it means that 214 LI projects have proved successful. Permission to provide electricity to run the LI projects has already been granted by the government and the work order to this effect was issued in June this year. These successful projects will be handed over to farmers soon, sources said.
Local farmers, however, pointed out that no one is trying to ascertain whether these LI projects will be useful for them. Farmers Sudam Sahu of Gania, Bibhti Nayak of Daspalla, Pabitra Swain of Nayagarh said the majority of deep LI points do not work. They have lodged repeated complaints on this issue to the concerned authorities.
However, they added that no one is addressing their needs. Some even alleged that officials are pocketing government funds by showing inflated figures pertaining to LI points in the district. Executive engineer Dushasan Jena of Nayagarh Lift Irrigation division said that the defunct projects are being activated while new ones are being set up.