8 minor projects lying incomplete in Koraput

Koraput: Owing to delay in acquisition of required land, about eight minor irrigation projects (MIP) are lying incomplete in Koraput district of Odisha for past several years.

Among these are the Rs 4.89 crore MIP at Jagamguda in Koraput block, work on which started in March 2009, official sources said.

It was expected to be completed in February 2011 and irrigate 567 hectare (ha) but the 13-km canal has not yet been constructed.

Now, the revised project cost stands at over Rs 14 crore and the department has already spent around Rs 9 crore on it, the sources said.

Similarly, the Adamunda MIP in Dasmantpur block is also incomplete as work on the proposed 11-km canal is yet to start. Work on the Rs 3.60 crore project began in January 2009 but so far only the work for dam is over aiming to irrigate 324 acres.

Like Jagamguda and Adamunda, at least one MIP each at Tunpar, Baghri, Badatema and Marubaru under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and a project each in Ratiaguda and Petujodinalla under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) are lying incomplete.

Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said non-completion of projects shows the state government is not serious in providing irrigation facilities to tribal farmers and though the revised budget is almost double the actual estimate, not a single project has been completed.

“There are many natural water resources in the district. These can be utilised for irrigation project but the government has failed to do so. It should complete these projects on a priority basis without further delay to ensure farmers get water for their farmlands,” he added.

“Work can start once we get the land for construction of canals. We have deposited the compensation amount for land losers with the revenue department, which has to acquire the land,” said Executive Engineer (MI division), Jeypore, Prabhakar Mohanty.

The matter has come up several times during review meetings conducted by the district administration and the KBK administrator in the past few months.

Additional District Magistrate (Koraput) Ekadasi Jena said, “The tehsildars have been asked to speed up land acquisition for the projects. We hope to complete the process at the earliest.”