Hectares of crop lands were washed away following a breach in the Indravati Mega lift canal bund near Majhiguda under Koksara block in Kalahandi district on Friday night.
A 10-feet long breach developed on the canal that eventually broke a portion of the embankment near Majhiguda, inundating large swathes of farm land in the low lying areas.
Irate local residents have attributed the breach to the substandard work on the canal undertaken by the construction company. They alleged that cracks had developed in the bund just few days after the mega lift irrigation project was inaugurated earlier this year.
However, no steps were taken to repair the fractures that led to breach.
The much-awaited mega irrigation project which was opened by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 14 now helps lakhs of people irrigate their rain-fed lands in Koksara and Dharmagarh blocks in the district.
The canal was in spate following heavy rain in the district for the last two days. The canal should have released the excess water due to incessant rain in the upstream. However, its weak embankment couldn't withstand the heavy-flow of the water causing the long breach, locals alleged.
On the other hand, farmers, who had finished their tilling activities, landed in utter despair as paddy saplings were washed away. Water is flowing above 3-4 feet high on the lands, sources said.
Till the last reports came in, no officials from the company or government had visited the spot to take steps for the immediate plugging of the breach.
Farmers of the region meanwhile have demanded a detailed assessment of the loss and adequate compensation.