Odisha to give priority to digging of wells for irrigation

Koraput: With drought hitting many parts of Odisha, the Rayagada district administration has decided to give priority to digging of wells under the Centre-sponsored Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The administration said digging of wells in agricultural fields of farmers will not only provide them the much-required irrigation facilities but also increase their yield.

“The drought situation which the farmers face almost every year due to less rainfall could be averted if the farmers dig wells in their fields,” said Rayagada district Collector, Jagannath Mohanty.

Officials said digging wells ain fields would be the best option because it is difficult to provide irrigation by constructing canals to almost every corner of the district.

“According to an estimate, digging of a well will cost around Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 and the entire amount will be paid from MGNREGS funds. Any farmer owning land, irrespective of the area, is eligible to dig a well under the rural employment scheme,” the collector said.

“Emphasis will be given to villages in far-flung areas with no or inadequate irrigation facilities. The administration will also facilitate the farmers to avail loan to purchase motors to lift water from the well for irrigation purposes,” he added.

Awareness about the programme will be created in rural areas through village meetings and distributing leaflets.

Announcement will also be made through loud speakers in weekly markets, the Collector said.