Khurda: Hundreds of farmers of Khurda block have urged the state government to complete the construction of Rajua irrigation project before the upcoming rabi season.
The state government had decided to construct Rajua irrigation project around 20 years ago. However, land hurdles, official apathy and callousness of the private contractors delayed the construction work, sources said.
Frequent floods in Rajua river usually damage kharif crops on hundreds of acres of land under Khurda block of the district and Kanas block of Puri district.
The farmers of Hirimula, Orami, Dhabalpur, Balapur, Gadasanput, Gadabadaput, Kurumapada, Narangada, Sadheigada, Hadapada, Dihakhala, Tigiria and Haladiapada used to bear the brunt of floods in Rajua river.
On the other hand, farmers of the region are unable to undertake rabi cultivation due to lack of irrigation facilities, sources said.
Considering the issue, the state government had decided to construct an irrigation project with an expenditure of 14.87 crore on Rajua river to manage floodwater in the rainy season and irrigate farmlands during the rabi season. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) had agreed to provide funds for the project, sources added.
The project was supposed to irrigate 1,335 hectare land of 17 villages in Khurda district and 1,265 hectare of 24 villages in Puri district. However, the project is yet to see the light of the day.
According to the farmers, the authorities concerned are yet to complete the construction of main and branch canals of the irrigation project.
“We have been waiting for last 20 years to get water from Rajua irrigation project. The authorities have failed to complete the construction work. We are urging the Irrigation department to complete the project before the upcoming rabi season,” said farmers Chitrasena Mangaraj and Yudhistir Yujharsingh.