Jajpur: Even as the state government had approved the Inland Waterways Authority of India’s proposal for development of inland waterways way back in 2014, no progress has been noticed on this front, a report said Tuesday.
Similarly, the integrated river management plan has gone haywire with the plan to develop the waterways remaining only on paper. The twin non-starters have hit the people hard with agricultural production going down in the district and creating drinking water problems. This has happened due to half-hearted attitude and lack of sincerity on the part of the implementing authorities, it is alleged.
The state government started excavation works at Erada in Kharasrota River for development of the waterways but the work was abandoned in the middle to the surprise of locals. They blame it on the apathetic attitude of the state government and lack of coordination among various departments.
Moreover, the state government’s decision to develop a waterway from Jokadia to Paradip and Dhamra by demolishing the river bridges at lower heights at various places and constructing new bridges in their place is yet to be realised.
Meanwhile, authorities have prepared a design and submitted a report to the state government for construction of a sluice gate on the upstream of Kharasrota at Tikarpada but ignored a similar demand on the downstream of the river.
The residents have been demanding construction of four sluice gates and a barrage on the downstream of the river as drinking water problem and water for irrigation is worsening day by day.
The villages on the downstream are known for highest production of oilseeds, vegetables and Rabi crops. They are transported to outside the state. However, a dip in agricultural production has hit the farmers hard. Now, they are demanding construction of four barrages, eight sluice gates on the downstream of the river.
The state government’s plan to implement the Integrated River Management plan is also in a shambles. As part of the plan, the riverbeds need to be dug up and check dams constructed to help increase the groundwater level.
The local people have also been demanding to make the largest river Brahmani perennial for last eight years. The state government is similarly ignoring construction of a new anicut on Brahmani at Jenapur as the British era anicut has collapsed and is lying buried in the river. However, no progress has been noticed on the part of the government to realise the public demands.