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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Sambalpur: Acute water shortage has massively affected the agricultural activities causing a drought-like situation in several parts of Sambalpur district.

The farming community has alleged that, though it is monsoon, the peak time for agriculture, they are yet to begin the agrarian works as there is no water in their fields.

Hundreds of farmers in Dengsarangi and Gandamunda areas of the district have claimed that peasants residing in the low-lying areas are deprived of water for farming as adequate water has not been released from the Hirakud Dam.

On top of that, they said, inadequate rainfall during the ongoing monsoon is piling troubles on their woes.

“The Hirakud Dam authorities released less amount of water last month despite getting a good inflow due to rain on the upstream. However, we are not getting enough water for ploughing the fields as the linking canal which has a capacity to contain 119 cusecs of water is only having around 20-30 cusecs of water,” alleged the president of a local farmers’ body.

The farmers have threatened to intensify their protests by blocking water supply to Hindalco Industries if their issues are not resolved soon.

“We tried to apprise the district Irrigation authorities on our problems, however we could not put forward our issues. If they don’t release water to improve agricultural conditions in the area soon, we will gherao the Irrigation Department office and block water supply to Hindalco,” he threatened.

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