Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday wrote to Jharkhand CM Hemanta Soren while urging him to expedite completion of Ichha Dam and Flood moderation in Chandil Dam of Subarnarekha Multi- purpose project.

In his letter, Patnaik has sought Soren’s cooperation in early completion of Ichha dam for benefit of farmers of both the states and storage of water up to Full Reservoir Level (FRL) in Chandil Dam in monsoon season for mitigation of flood in Odisha.

Patnaik also thanked Jharkhand government for extending co-operation in providing water to Subarnarekha Irrigation Project of the State during Khariff season.

The Subarnarekha Multipurpose Project was taken up as a follow up action for utilisation of water resources of Subarnarekha-Kharkhai basin as per the tripartite agreement made during 1978 among erstwhile Bihar (now Jharkhand), Odisha & West Bengal.

However, the Subarnarekha Irrigation Project of Odisha will be able to utilise its full irrigation potential only after completion of Ichha dam by Government of Jharkhand.

Chandil Dam across river Subarnarekha has been completed since long but water has been stored up to RL 181.50 m during monsoon against Full Reservoir Level of 192 m due to R&R issues. As full storage capacity has not been utilised in the darn during monsoon season, we are facing flood havoc more often, Patnaik’s letter read.

I am happy to know that Government of Jharkhand has taken up Ichha dam construction work recently. The Government of Odisha will extend all cooperation for Ichha Darn construction and reimburse Odisha's share cost of dam in time,” Naveen assured in his letter.

He further wrote, “Sum of Rs.1026.91 crore has been paid to Jharkhand for the above works till date against the estimated share cost of Odisha of Rs.1208 crore (2016 Price level). Further, I am told that 36 villages of Odisha are affected under Ichha Dam reservoir sub-mergence area at FRL 225m.

Accordingly, land acquisition and R&R work in Odisha portion have been taken up. As of now, 5196 ac of land (98%) out of 5283 ac has already been acquired. Rehabilitation assistance has been paid to 1268 Project Affected Persons (PAPs) out of total identified 1369 PAPs, which is about 93%.” he mentioned in the letter.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)