Complete ongoing irrigation projects: CS

Bhubaneswar: Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Saturday asked the Water Resources department to complete ongoing irrigation projects first before taking up any new project and enhance the capacity of Pani Panchayats (PPs) through appropriate training and community mobilization.

He also directed officials to fix realistic target for each project and accomplish it within the time schedule.

Creation of irrigation potential for additional 10 lakh hectares has been brought to the focus area of the department. Chief Secretary directed to achieve the target within the financial year 2018-19.

Presiding over a review meeting of the department, Padhi made a case for better water use efficiency and maximization of the use of irrigation potential already created.

Available data shows Odisha at present has utilizable water resources of around 83.46 billion cubic metres (BCM) out of which 24.24 BCM is in present use. Irrigation potential has been created for 33.12 lakh hectares.

The department has taken up various projects for creation of irrigation facility for additional 10 lakh hectares. It has been planned to irrigate 2.41 lakh hectares through mega lift scheme for which 103 projects have been taken up with an estimated cost of Rs 4024 crores. Besides, 20 major and medium irrigation projects have been taken up for creation irrigation potential for of 4.37 lakh hectares with estimated cost of Rs 18,404 crore .

The meeting decided to complete Upper Indravati extension, Titilagarh project by end of 2015-16 , Rukura-Manjore-Bahghalati project by 2016-17, Lower Indravati Mahendratanaya Project by 2017-18 and Subarnarekha-Kanpur-Anadapur Barrage-Telengiri-Hadua project by 2018-19.

The meeting also revealed that the deep bore well scheme has been taken up for creation of irrigation potential over 0.60 lakh hectares. By now, about 12,000 beneficiaries have deposited Rs 20,000 each towards their 10% share money.

It may be mentioned that the state government has been providing 90% of the cost of each deep bore well from its own resources. Tenders have already been floated for digging of bore wells and the work will be completed as per the schedule. Around 10,000 check dams have been taken up for creating additional irrigation potential. So far 7,483 check dams have been completed and protective irrigation has been provided to 37,362 hectares during 2015 khariff season.

Apart from this, construction of 4000 Community Lift Irrigation Points (LIPs) has been taken up for creating irrigation potential of 80,000 hectares.

The revival of defunct LIPs has been taken up on war footing. It has been targeted to revive 3917 defunct LIPs at an estimated cost of Rs 753.38 crore.

The department has successfully grounded the Odisha Community Tank Management Project (OCTMP) as a result of which cropping intensity has increased from 1.21 % to 1.42% per hectare.