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Fresh efforts to revive Torai project

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  • Published 13.04.10

Pakur, April 12: With an aim to supply water to the parched paddy fields of Pakur, the district administration has urged the state government to revive the Torai reservoir project that has been lying incomplete since 1998.

Pakur deputy commissioner Manish Ranjan, in a letter to the chief secretary recently, requested him to approve completion of the project, saying it would prove to be useful once functional.

According to executive engineer of the water resource department S.K. Mandal, the department recently completed survey work at the site and sent the detailed project report to the government. “We have worked out fresh costs of the project. It comes to Rs 155 crore,” Mandal added.

Started in 1975 in unified Bihar, Torai project was touted to be one of the most ambitious irrigation projects conceived by the water resource department. The project was undertaken at a cost of Rs 1.59 crore with an aim to provide water to more than 20,000 acres of land in drought-prone blocks like Littipara, Amrapara, Hiranpur and Pakur.

Under the project, construction of a dam was proposed at Chitlo farm in Littipara block, which would have submerged 1,450 acres in villages like Mohonpur, Baijnathpur, Damarhir, Jamjori, Kari Pahari, Lakhanpur and Chatni. The department had rehabilitated 273 displaced families and shifted them to nearby Bara Sarsha and Kumarvaja besides providing government jobs to 24.

Till 1986-87, more than 56 per cent of work was completed while over 60 per cent of funds had been utilised. But construction suddenly stopped in the middle of 1987 following protests by the displaced.

The villagers are now ready to co-operate though. “Now, the state has an R&R policy and if the department provides us adequate compensation, we will not oppose the reservoir,” said a villager.

Local JMM MLA Simon Marandi, however, said the government should first ensure proper compensation and grant jobs to the displaced. Former MP from Rajmahal Som Marandi echoed Marandi, adding that government should first take the local residents into confidence.