Jaleswar: The tender for five mega irrigation projects with a total estimated cost of Rs 1 crore was issued in Jaleswar Thursday. Acting on the advice of local MLA Aswini Kumar Patra, the block authorities also deposited Rs 1 crore at Baradiha branch of Bank of Baroda.
A source said that the fund was earlier sanctioned after MLA Patra expediated the local issue of farmers for irrigation of farmlands.
On the other hand, Jaleswar residents have doubted over successful completion of the mega lift irrigation project. Despite another project of the Modified Area Development Agency (MADA) remaining functional for over last four decades under Jaleswar block in the district, there has been no development in this region, many locals alleged.
Six panchayats of Raibania have been suffering administrative neglect and the MADA project could not bring development due to scarcity of funds. The project was funded with Rs 4.43 lakh in 2014-15, Rs 8.14 lakh in 2015-16, Rs 2 lakh in 2016-17, Rs 5.5 lakh in 2017-18, again Rs 5.5 lakh in 2018-19 and Rs 6 lakh in 2019-20, respectively.
However, five of the blocks in Raibania were included in the scheme and no fund was allegedly provided during the FY 2020-21.
As per 2011 census, Sardarbandha panchayat in Balasore district has a population of 4,895, of which 3,639 persons are tribals. Similarly, Shyamanagar panchayat has a population of 5,866, of which 3,253 are tribals; Baradia panchayat has a population of 12,200, of which 6,162 are tribals; Kalika panchayat has a population of 5,483, of which 2,032 are tribals and the Khuada panchayat has a population of 7,939, of which 4,243 are tribals, the residents of Jaleswar informed.
A committee formed for the MADA project consists of Balasore Sub-Collector as the chairperson, including District Welfare Officer, Block Development Officer, local MP and Jaleswar MLA as members.