Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Hirakud canal in Sambalpur is said to be under threat after a portion of its concrete side wall sank. This has led farmers to apprehend that the wall may collapse anytime and gushing waters may damage crops in acres.

Moreover, if the canal goes dry in case of a breach, thousands of acres of farmland will be deprived of irrigation, they alleged.

Upset over this problem, scores of farmers staged protests and demanded immediate measures to stop the possible damage.

Natu Bihari Biswal, a farmer said that for the third time, the canal wall has sunk. “The cement wall is leaking, but it is not being repaired. The dam authorities are carrying out minor repairs with sandbags. The problem again arises.” 

Later, Chief engineer of the Hirakud Dam, Ananda Chandra Sahu, rushed to the spot and held talks with the agitating farmers. He assured the farmers that as a permanent solution, the damaged portion would be repaired and its work would start soon.   

“I asked the SDO to have a watch on the wall. It will be repaired temporarily. The water supply will be halted briefly. After repair, we will resume the water supply. We will also keep a close watch on it. In April and May, a major repair of the canal wall will be carried out,” Sahu said.

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