Bolangir: As the Lower Suktel irrigation project in Bolangir district is expected to be completed by 2023-24, the state government has started settling resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) issues.
In the second phase, some people displaced by the project were handed out land pattas here at the conference hall of the chief engineer(Construction) office, Friday.
It was learnt that 34 displaced families of Koindapalli were provided pattas. The displaced will be settled at Lurkipalli and Sadaipalli on the outskirts of Bolangir town.
Following a directive from project director (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Mahendra Mohapatra, Collector Chanchal Rana distributed pattas to the displaced families.
In the first phase, 47 displaced families of Paradhiapalli had been handed out pattas. For the last 20 years, rehabilitation of people living in Paradhiapalli, Koindapalli and another village has been a tough task.
However, displacement process was started at Paradhiapalli from June 29, this year. State water resources secretary Anu Garg has recently reviewed the progress of the project, along with several other medium and major irrigation projects, which are under implementation.
Garg had asked the officials to resolve the pending issues related to rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) and expedite the earthwork and spillway construction of the project.
Though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of the project in 2001, its implementation has been delayed for years owing to the locals’ resistance to it over the R&R issues.
Sources said the administration has started providing alternate lands to the affected people. The project is expected to irrigate nearly 32,000 hectares of land in Balangir and Sonepur districts.
Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System is also being executed in western Odisha. The project was announced ahead of the 2017 Bijepur by-election. It aims to irrigate around 25,600 hectares of drought-hit areas in Bijepur area in Bargarh district.
It is said over Rs 1200 crore will be spent on the project expected to be ready before 2023-24.