Parvati Giri irrigation project fails to bring cheers for farmers

Bargarh: Several hectares of land in Bargarh district is fast turning into a dry patch owing to lack of adequate irrigation facilities. Though Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had inaugurated the Parvati Giri mega lift irrigation project before the Bijepur bypoll last year, the project has remained a non-starter owing to lack of adequate electricity.

The farmers in 41 villages under Bhatli Assembly constituency had pinned their hopes on good harvest after the Parvati Giri mega lift irrigation project was inaugurated by CM on September 8 last year.

Rs 99 crore-project had targeted to irrigate nearly 4720 hectares of land in Chikhili, Tamdei and Jampali areas of the district.

However, the project has failed to bring smiles on the faces of farmers of the region despite being set up in the home constituency of Odisha’s Energy Minister Sushant Singh.

Sources said all provisions under the project including setting up of a pump house and water tanks were done.

However, blame it lack of foresight on part of administrative officials that no provision for an electricity grid was made to supply power to the project.

“The project was inaugurated in a hurried manner and it is lying idle due to lack of electricity supply. So far not a single decimal of land has received water from the project and it remains to be seen when 2700 hectares of land will be irrigated,” said Jibardhan Behera, a resident of Chikhili.

Another famer Sidheswar Dehuri stated that “All the farmers had hoped to recover the losses which they had sustained due to drought last year. But the motor pumps of the project are yet to be operational.”

Villagers alleged that the motor pumps of the irrigation project functions only after there is load shedding in the entire region.

Sources said there is a requirement of 4 pump sets for the Rs 42.24 crore-Chikhili project, 3 pump sets for Rs 27.88 crore-Jampali project and 4 pump sets for Rs 29.57 crore-Tamdei project.

Due to lack of adequate electricity supply, the pump sets at the respective areas are not operational, alleged local residents.

“It is not a failed project. Earlier, no department had brought the matter to our notice. As the project consumes a lot of electricity, at present there is no sufficient power for the project. However, we are trying to resolve the issues,” said Bargarh Collector, Indramani Tripathy.