Jajpur: In a major boost to the agriculture sector here, the state government has decided to set up two barrages across Baitarani here which would result in expanding irrigational coverage to 1,500 hectares of land in the district and the neighbouring Bhadrak.
The two projects estimated at around Rs 236.63 core has got administrative approval of the state government, a report said.
The two projects will also play instrumental in ensuring drinking water to Jajpur town and compensate for water shortage during major religious rituals like Baruni Snana in Baitarani.
Significantly, the two barrages are expected to ensure flood control in the downstream areas of the river in the two districts.
Reports added that the two barrages will come up on the left and right side of Saptamatruka temple across Baitarani.
After approval of the cost estimate of the project, the Water Resources department has awarded the contract of the construction to OCCL.
Engineer in-chief Jyotirmay Rath has intimated to the principal secretary of the Water Resources department about it and issued an order for construction of the projects.
After commissioning of the two projects, Jajpur town will get drinking water while irrigation will be provided through lift irrigation points to 700 hectares in Bhadrak and 800 hectares in Jajpur.
Moreover, the barrages will dam up enough water for devotees for holy ‘Baruni Snana’.
Various quarters and particularly the farming community were enthused over the project.
The approval of the projects has come after eight years of official process.
In the monsoon, Brahmani and Baitarani wreak flood havoc in most parts of Jajpur and Bhadrak. Even their distributaries create massive flood situation in various pockets, damaging lives and properties.
The two districts saw unprecedented floods between July 26 and 29 due to low pressure-induced heavy rains.
This flood is said to be the worst ever one in the district in the last two decades. Over 10 lakh people and three lakh domestic animals were affected by the flood.
Around 12 people have died while 38,000 livestock perished in the flood.
With the execution of the two barrages, people of Jajpur expect that the barrages will ensure flood control in the downstream areas of the river.
The right side barrage will be of 84.50 metres. Initially, it was thought that one barrage will not be enough to conserve water. Later, it was decided that another barrage will be set up.
The left side barrage will be of 90 metres.
The right barrage work will be started in the current fiscal while that of the left barrage will be started in 2021-22.
Initially, Rs 83.42 crore was sanctioned for the right barrages.
Dhaneswar Samal, the executive engineer of the Jajpur Water Resources Division, said that apart from irrigation, the barrages will dam up water for ‘Baruni Snana’ in Baitarani.
OCCL will start its work soon, he added. However, he did not say about flood control by the two projects. Given this, the flood control hope of the people in downstream areas is in question.