Monday, 30th October 2017

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Funds for repair of Kanchi weir

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  • Published 30.01.12

Ranchi, Jan. 29: The water resources department has sanctioned Rs 40.20 crore for the repair of a main canal and a branch of the Kanchi weir, which had collapsed in 2007 leaving 40,000 acres in Naxalite hotbeds of the district without irrigation facilities.

The department has proposed to begin repair work on the main canal and the Baranda branch within the ongoing fiscal and complete the project in June in order to water the fields for a fruitful kharif crop in 125 villages.

Once the project becomes functional, farmers in 44 villages of Tamar block, 23 of Sonahatu block, 14 of Arki and 44 villages of Ichagarh will benefit.

The total irrigation potential of the project is 16,194 hectares.

This project had become functional in 1984. Despite neglect of repair work, it continued to supply water to farmers till 2007. In 2007-08, however, about 430ft of the main canal was damaged badly. Supply of water from the weir gradually stopped completely.

The government also failed to make budgetary provisions for repair work. Deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto, who heads water resources, admitted that concrete lining of only 40 per cent of the banks of main canal was done about 25 years ago, but it was in a bad shape now.

Desiltation work, too, was not taken up. According to sources, the farmers often dig up the embankments to facilitate flow of water to their fields. There was no administrative control, which in turn reduced the storage capacity of the main canal and contributed to leakage of water.

“Other than the existing structures at the main canal, three inches thick cement concrete lining will be done along the main canals and its tributaries. Over Rs 3.61 crore will be spent on it. Another Rs 11.67 crore will be spent on other repair works of the main canal,” Mahto said.

The Kanchi weir has four tributary canals — Baranda, Tamar, Adradih and Ichagarh. The water flow at the main canal and Adradih and Baranda branches are currently above 150 cusecs.

Under the centrally sponsored command area development and water management programme, correction of system deficiency will be taken up at Tamar and Ichagarh branch canals. However, to maximise the efficiencies of main canal and the two branch canals, correction of system deficiency is proposed to be taken up from state’s own resources.

Replying to a question, the deputy chief minister stressed that agriculture was the main source of livelihood for people in villages under the command area of the irrigation project.

All the villagers are in Naxalite strongholds. The rebel menace escalated in the area during the past five years.

“I will request the chief minister to see that the proposal is passed by the empowered committee and cabinet co-ordination committee at the earliest,” Mahto added.