Govt stresses on revival of defunct LIPs

Berhampur: With little hope to get water from reservoirs in Ganjam for irrigation, Odisha government has stressed on revival of defunct lift irrigation projects (LIP) in the district to ensure water for rabi crops. Water level in almost all reservoirs had fallen due to lack of rain during monsoon, while major and medium irrigation projects had failed to provide required water during kharif season. As a result, the district is reeling under drought situation.

Since there is a remote chance of release of water from the reservoirs, the government has stressed on the LIPs to get the irrigation facilities during the rabi season, a senior officer said today. Additional Secretary, Water Resources, Usha Padhy has directed engineers of state owned Orissa Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC) in the district to revive the defunct LIPs, so that the drought-hit farmers could get the irrigation facilities during the rabi.

She has reviewed the condition of the LIPs in the district and also interacted with some of the drought-affected people in Chhatrapur area in the district, recently. Though the district is yet to be declared drought-affected, agriculture officials, however, reported the crop loss in over 1,00,000 hectares out of 2.23 lakh hectares of paddy areas.

As many as 763 out of total 1455 LIPs in the district are lying defunct, while 692 are in operation. While there are 163 projects could not be revived due to several reasons, Padhy asked them to take steps to revive 595 points soon. When revived, they could provide irrigation potential to around 10,000 hectares of land in the rabi season, said OLIC executive engineer, Ganjam S S Ray.

We are now conducting a joint survey with Southco, the power distribution company, on the defunct points for revival, he said. We hope all the points will be revived by the end of March, 2011, he said adding that Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has sanctioned about Rs 23 crore for this purpose to the district.