Athagarh: The farmers of the Athagarh and Tigiria area have waited for long 40 years, but they are yet to take benefit of the Rengali South Irrigation project. The project had been reportedly started in the year 1978 but it is yet to be completed.
The work of this project started long ago and so far about 31 km has been excavated in the Athagarh and Tigiria area. However, the work has been delayed. And hence, the farmers are disheartened. They have raised doubt about whether they will get the benefit of the project or not to irrigate their lands.
The South Rengali Irrigation project had been started long back in the year 1978. Back then, the budget of this project had been estimated at Rs 78 crore. By the year 2006-07 this budget reached Rs 2491.20 crore. However, the project is still half finished.
Proposed in 1978 the work of this project began in 1997-98. Then, the project had been targeted to be completed by 2014-15. Yet, it could not be completed. In 2015-16 the excavation work began following the land acquisition. However, the work is still going on. And it is not certain when actually the project will be completed.
The distance between Rengali and Athagarh is more than 100 km. The proposed project will pass along plain lands and hills.
This project was supposed to irrigate 1,21,200 hectares of farmland in Dhenkanal Sadar, Odapada, Gandia, Hindola, Athagarh, Tigiria Badamba, Banki and Narasinghpur areas. Out of this 84,406-hectare farmland will be irrigated through the canal system while 19,684-hectare farmlands will be irrigated through lift irrigation.
Steps have been taken for the irrigation of 8063.71-hectare land in Athagarh block and 4347.97 hectares in Tigiria block. Work has been started in these two blocks in which 31 km have been excavated.
Besides, it has also been complained that the work is of poor standard. In some places cracks have been found in the newly built canal and at some other places, the concrete is found damaged.