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Deadline set for Konar project

- Minister focuses on agriculture to create sustainable livelihood

Hazaribagh, Aug. 19: State water resources minister Annapurna Devi today claimed that the ambitious Konar irrigation project would be ready in another four months, boosting irrigation facility in a total of 62,000 hectare farmland spread over three districts of the region.

In Hazaribagh to inaugurate a regional office of the engineer-in-chief of the irrigation department, the RJD minister said work on the Konar project, which was kicked off in 1978, had been moving at a snail’s pace. The delay in constructing a 999-metre-long underground tunnel to connect the Konar Dam, situated in Vishnugarh block of Hazaribagh, with the existing water supply line had been the main impediment.

The water from the dam will be supplied to farmland in Bokaro, Hazaribagh and Giridih.

“I did not get a long tenure in office. So from the very beginning, I focussed on all pending projects. Now, 70 per cent work of the Konar project is complete and it will be ready in the next four months,” the minister added.

She said it was not easy for any government to provide jobs to lakhs of people. “But it is possible to strengthen irrigation facilities and boost agriculture and its allied fields. This in turn will provide a sustainable livelihood option to lakhs of farmers and improve agricultural yield. This is the reason, after becoming the minister, I have given go-ahead for repairing all reservoirs across the state to improve irrigation,” she argued.

Speaking about the newly inaugurated regional office on Lake Road, she said the double-storeyed office building had been constructed at a cost of around Rs 1.05 crore to benefit people of different districts of North Chotanagpur commissionerate.

Other than smooth functioning, the regional office would also help monitor several ongoing projects.

The minister also raised the issue of land acquisition and said taking up new projects had become difficult owing to land hurdle. She appealed to the people to co-operate with the government and become a part of the development process.

Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha, who was also present at the event, said the BJP-led government at the Centre was dedicated to uplift farmers.

Chatra legislator Janardan Paswan and zilla parishad chairman Braj Kishore Jaiswal, among others, were also present.