Nuapada: If the residents of Pendraband panchayat in this district are to be believed, misleading information by the administration during construction of Lower Indra Irrigation Project is resulting in the entire region being marooned by water overflowing from the dam.
The reality has come to light now after the project has been commissioned, alleged the residents of the panchayat. Lack of vision on the part of the project designing team is ruining their lives, they added.
According to reports, the state government had launched the Lower Indra Irrigation Project to provide irrigation facility to thousands of farmers. However, people in several villages are now gradually getting marooned due to the overflowing dam, thanks to a faulty survey. Many villages under Pendraband panchayat of Komna block have already been surrounded by water from three sides, while there is a hill on the other side.
The project was launched about 18 years back and was made operational this year. At that time 10 villages were declared Sampurna Budi Anchal (regions to be completely submerged) and 20 others were declared partially submerged land. The people of completely submerged region were given compensation and rehabilitated according to government policy. But people inhabiting the partially submerged region were neither given any compensation nor rehabilitated despite submergence of one-third of the panchayat.
Though the village is surrounded by water from three sides and a hill of Bolangir district from other side, it was not brought under completely submerged land category.
Meanwhile, water spilled from the dam following the incessant rain is giving sleepless nights to the local villagers. Reptiles and other aquatic animals are straying into the village along with the water gushing from the dam.
“We demanded that the administration declare the village as Sampurna Budi Anchal and a suitable rehabilitation package. But no one paid heed to our pleas,” said Krushna Sindur, a senior citizen of the village.
An affected farmer, Kailash Chandra Majhi said all the agricultural land of the village has been submerged under water from the dam.
“The administration has misled us during the construction of the dam and not bothered about our rehabilitation,” alleged Gobardhan Nayak, a former ZP representative.
When contacted, rehabilitation and resettlement officer of the project, Himanchal Majhi said a new National Highway is being constructed near Pendrabandh and all measures are being taken for the safety of the people.