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Revamp hope for broken Bokaro barrage

- Neglected facility over river Gavai can irrigate 11000 acres, transform lives of farmers

Farmers in Bokaro’s Chandankyari, Chas and Pindrajora blocks can heave a sigh of relief as their long-cherished dreams of growing rotational crops like kharif and rabi, besides seasonal vegetables, are set to be fulfilled.

For, Gavai Barrage, which can irrigate over 11,000 acres, has hit the revamp path.

Executive engineer of Tenughat project Arvind Kumar Jha on Monday submitted a blueprint of the complete renovation of the barrage over river Gavai, about 20km from Bokaro steel city, at the office of superintending engineer of water resources department Navin Narayan.

Jha has also asked for immediate release of Rs 71 lakh for repairs of the structure that has developed damages at various places.

“Renovation will begin as soon as the approval comes. If all goes well, work will be completed before the monsoon next year,” Jha said.

Jha revealed that as part of the plan, internal sloping of the canal would be increased by a few inches to maintain water flow. A few check dams would also be constructed to store water for use during peak summer, he added.

“My first target is to repair the damaged spots, which obstruct flow of water at several points. I have sought Rs 71 lakh on an urgent basis for this purpose” Jha said.

Gavai Barrage was constructed in early 70s in united Bihar during the period of former chief minister Jagannath Mishra to irrigate over 11,000 acres of land.

But the neglect culture soon caught up with it and the barrage was hardly repaired over the years. At present, it caters to hardly 900 acres. Consequently, a majority of farmers in Chandankyari, Chas and Pindrajora blocks depend on rains for irrigation and cultivate only paddy.

Chandankyari MLA Umakant Rajak said he had raised the issue several times in the Vidhan Sabha. “Once the renovation is done, this project will help poor farmers of three blocks as they will be able to grow rotational crops and vegetables,” he said.

Former chief minster Shibu Soren had also urged the state government to renovate the barrage.