Breach in Kanajhari canal destroys paddy crop

Keonjhar: Hundreds of acres of paddy crops in several villages were filled with sand and mud after a breach in the right canal of Kanajhari dam in the sadar block area of the district here today leaving farmers in the area distraught.

According to reports, a portion of the right canal road was breached at about 11 AM. As a result, water from the dam entered the paddy fields of hundreds of acres in Maidanakela, Raghunathpur and Kantiapada panchayats.

Farmers of these panchayats who had completed the plantation of paddy saplings in their field, are now left in the lurch.

This medium irrigation project was built to provide round-the-clock irrigation facilities in Keonjhar sadar and Patana blocks.

Recently, the repair and widening work of the dam was taken up with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). But the locals had brought to the notice of the district administration the poor quality of the work.

“I had grown paddy in my four-acre land which has been completely damaged. Like me, the farmers of this area have sustained huge losses. If the government helps us, we will survive. Otherwise there is no other option for us except committing suicide,” Bharat Chandra Nayak, a farmer told OTV today.

Additional district collector Sangram Keshari Swain said the administration has been informed about the incident. “We will ask the executive engineer, Irrigation, to probe into the incident and submit a report in this connection,” he said.

Swai n said the repair and widening of the canal was executed under the supervision of the executive engineer, ADB, Kamakhyanagar Irrigation Division.

Talking about the crop loss the farmers have sustained following the breach, he said the deputy director, Agriculture would be asked to make an assessment of the crop loss and submit a report on the basis of which a notice would be sent to the executive engineer, Irrigation.