Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra on Wednesday dared Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to prove him wrong while saying the State government has not been able to provide irrigation to 35 per cent agricultural land in Bolangir district.

“If the Chief Minister proves that 35 per cent land is irrigated in the district, I will resign from the Opposition leader post or else Patnaik should step down from the CM post immediately,” Mishra stated in the House during a debate on the demand for grants of Water Resources department.

Raising similar concerns, BJP legislature party leader KV Singh Deo claimed less than 35 per cent agricultural land in 198 blocks has been provided with irrigation facilities. He also asked the State government to table a white paper on Mahanadi and Polavaram river water issues.

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Meanwhile, presenting a replying on behalf of the Chief Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said 35 percent land has been irrigated in 99 blocks out of 198 blocks whereas geographical limitations are hindering the facilitation of the irrigation in19 remaining blocks.

On the river water issue, Arukha said the State has taken a legal recourse to address the matter and sought the Supreme Court's help.

Talking to newsmen, Arukha informed the government has targeted to irrigate 2.95 lakh hectare land in the current year. "A budgetary provision of Rs 100 crore has been made to complete 61 small irrigation projects. Apart from this, 17,000 deep tube wells will be established to help in better irrigation," the minister added.

The House passed total Rs 9,199. 68 crore demand for grants of the Water Resources department in the day.