Khajuripada/Balaskumpa: Purunapani dam once was a lifeline for farmers under Khajuripada block in Kandhamal district. However, after years of neglect, the dam has lost its water retaining capacity, thus reducing its irrigational coverage.
Hundreds of farmers, who are deprived of irrigation, have resented irrigational deprivation, a report.
According to the report, the dam was built to store water draining out from a nearby hill and to be used for irrigation later at Khajuripada. The water is being supplied to farmlands through canals. Earlier, the dam was full of water throughout the year.
As a result, farmers in the region used to get enough water for paddy and vegetables. The dam is just 15 km from Phulbani. Locals alleged that the administration had failed to renovate it for irrigational use.
They added that the dam has become shallow with deposits of silts over year. No step has been taken to dredge the silts, they lamented. In summer, its water level hits the rock-bottom, leaving the farmland deprived of water.
“The government has been spending crores of rupees for renovation of dams and irrigation facilities. But this dam has become a victim of the government’s apathy. Water coming with earth and rocks has got deposited. In summer, there is little water for farming,” the local farmers lamented.
On the other hand, Purunapani dam is in a scenic setting. It has been a draw for picnickers. It has a lot of tourism potential which the government can make use of.
Tourists need connectivity, platforms, drinking water and toilets. “If basic facilities for tourists are put in place, it will create income opportunities for residents living around the dam.
Farmers demanded that the local leaders take up renovation of the dam with the government, apart from immediate steps for dredging of the dam.
Leave a Reply