Jeypore: The water of Dhanpur sub canal under Kolab irrigation department near here meant for farmers is being used by illegal brick kilns with impunity.
Ten to 15 illegal brick kilns have recently come up on the side of the road running along the sub canal from Teliguda to Bankabij. Their owners have indulged in another illegality by pilfering water from the canal in broad daylight.
“Some brick kiln owners are using diesel motors to draw water, while others have even laid pipes from the canal to their kilns. And all these things are happening under the very nose of the officials concerned,” farmers alleged.
While farmers are worried as their farmlands at the lower end are not getting enough water, the drawing of water by these illegal kilns and the official inaction in this regard have only fanned their anger.
Moreover, the kiln owners are using husk to bake earth bricks causing severe air pollution in the locality.
Earth-brick kilns are declared illegal by the government. The officials of the regional office of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board and the district administration are supposed to take action against these unscrupulous brick traders. But the officials from either side are yet to take any action in this regard.
Moreover, the irrigation department officials frequent the area to inspect the condition of the canals. Their leniency has too surprised the villagers. “It cannot be the fact that they have not come across the pipes and diesel pumps. We fail to understand as to why they are so merciful towards them (kiln owners),” locals asked.
These kiln owners are raking in the moolah and don’t pay a single pie towards revenue. It is alleged that the kiln owners have formed an unholy nexus with some unscrupulous tehsil officials.
Executive engineer Subash Chandra Mishra said, “The allegation of canal water being pilfered by brick kiln owners is a fact. In earlier days, police cases were lodged. Yet, they are forcibly drawing water from canals. For action, higher-ups will be intimated.”