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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Barrage facelift mooted

A long-cherished dream of thousands of farmers besides JMM chief Shibu Soren and Chandankyari legislator Umakant Rajak appears to be on the path of fulfilment.

In a move that will help farmers of Chandankyari, Chas and Pindrajora blocks opt for multiple cropping with kharif, rabi and seasonal vegetables, the state water resources department has given the go-ahead for renovation of Gavai Barrage, 20km away from Bokaro steel city.

Gavai Barrage, which was constructed in the early seventies when Jagannath Mishra was chief minister of unified Bihar, today can irrigate hardly 900 acres of land. The irrigation canals are broken in several places, while elsewhere heavy silting water prevents water from reaching the fields.

With the aim of irrigating more than 11,600 acres along a 44km stretch through Chandankayari and Pindrajora blocks, where farmers are totally dependant on rains for paddy cultivation, Tenughat irrigation project division has sent the blueprint of total renovation of Gavai Barrage.

Tenughat irrigation department has sought Rs 16.66 crore for completion of the first phase of the project, while the total project cost has been estimated at Rs 50 crore.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Tenughat irrigation division engineer Nagendra Sinha informed that the blueprint was sent to the water resources department a few days ago and once the approval was received, renovation would start immediately and work would be completed before monsoon next year.

Sources added that the slope and depth of the canal will be increased by a few inches to allow constant flow of water which at present stagnates at places, while the damaged spots will be repaired and a few check dams constructed along the waterway for storage of water for use during peak summer.

Chandnakyari MLA Umakant Rajak said he had raised the issue of renovating the barrage several times in the Assembly and even requested deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto and water resources minister C.P. Chowdhry for early completion of this project.

“Once the renovation is done, this project will definitely help poor farmers of Chandankyari, Pindrajora and Chas blocks irrigate their land and opt for rotational crops and vegetables,” Rajak said, adding that at present, the poor framers have to depend on rain and can only grow paddy.