Saswat Singhdeo

Koraput: Fate of many farmers of Koraput is hanging in balance as the much-awaited Telengiri irrigation project is marred by inordinate delays.

As pert reports, Telengiri project was started in the 2003-04 at a cost of Rs 106 crore, but the delays have escalated the cost to Rs 1200 crore.

"We are living in difficult condition as water scarcity is adversely affecting farming," said a farmer from Ranigarh.

Member of Koraput District Krushak Kalyan Manch Manoj Patra said, "It has been almost 14 years but still there is uncertainty on when water will be released."

On the other hand, Jeypore MLA Tara Bahinipati has alleged that the residents displaced by the project are yet to get compensation and rehabilitation facilities.

"The CAG report has revealed that fake bills worth crores of rupees have been issued. There should be an investigation on who is responsible for the loss suffered by farmers," Bahinipati said.

Responding to the allegations, BJD spokesperson Rabi Narayan Nanda said "The person who doesn't know how many people have been displaced and how much land has been used for the Telengiri project should not speak on the subject."

Meanwhile, Executive Engineer of Upper Local Division of Jeypore, Shatrughan Maharana, said that water has been released to 7500 hectares of land on a trial basis and the project will be completed by June 2019.

"The project is almost on the verge of completion. In last Kharif season, we had released water to around 7500 hectare land on a trial basis," Maharana said.