Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has set a target to complete around 300 more bridge-cum-check dams in the ongoing financial year (2022-23) at a cost of over Rs 400 crore for irrigation, drinking water and other purposes. It is part of the Odisha government’s plan in May to construct 1,000 such wire structures across the state in three years. The move came amid criticism for allegedly not creating more facilities for water storage in Odisha.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra recently reviewed the progress at a virtual meeting from the Loka Seba Bhavan here recently, according to an official release Monday.
“Bridge-cum-check dams raise the surface water level in the riverbeds and significantly help in groundwater recharge and rejuvenation of the ecosystem,” Mahapatra said.
“It’s a cost-effective technology having multiple micro-level outcomes. The water conserved through this method could be utilised for irrigation on both sides of the river for growing vegetables and cash crops,” Mahapatra informed.
The raised water level could be effectively used for pisciculture through self-help groups. It can also be used for drinking water projects, besides checking soil erosion, the official stated.
Forty-five such check dams were completed within two months in various districts. The Rural Development and the Works departments have identified 480 bridges where such check dams could be built.
Mahapatra directed the departments to complete around 300 bridges during the current financial year. It is estimated to cost Rs 413 crore would be invested for construction of these bridges.
Development Commissioner Pradeep Jena said the technology proved effective and helpful in the context of Odisha’s geo-climatic conditions.
The bridge-cum-check dams also allowed usual flow of the river or creek where it was constructed as the water was held only up to 1.5 metres in height, Jena said.