JEYPORE: Upper Kolab project authorities may not be able to provide irrigation water in Dhanpur distribution system for next season rabi, Jeypore airstrip development works at Koraput falling behind.
The Jeypore airstrip is developed by the Works Department under the UDAN program of the Center for Regional Air Connectivity. The state government has sanctioned Rs 55 crore for this purpose. While other infrastructure work is completed, the expansion of the runway is underway.
The length of the track goes from 915 meters to 1,200 meters and its width from 23 meters to 30 meters. However, expansion has not progressed due to the 200-meter-long irrigation canal under the Dhanpur system in the region.
As engineers have to lay concrete slabs on the canal, the water resources department asked the works authorities to complete the work between November and December when the water supply through the canal stops. As the expansion works have been delayed and are in their initial stages, water supply to the Dhanpur Canal may not be possible by the end of this month. Authorities in Upper Kolab had planned to provide water for the rabi season from the first week of January, which now seems uncertain.
On Saturday, senior engineers from the Upper Kolab and Works department visited the canal site to oversee construction work. According to the sources, works officials said work on the canal can be completed if the water supply is cut off for at least three months. In response, the irrigation authorities reportedly said that a decision to that effect could only be taken after discussion with the district administration, government officials and pani panchayats as part of the Dhanpur distribution system.
When contacted, Upper Kolab Additional Chief Engineer Anil Panigrahi informed that the irrigation water supply under the Dhanpur system will only be discontinued after obtaining the consent of all stakeholders. “We have extended all the support for the extension of the tracks because it is a national project, but at the same time the interests of the farmers have to be kept in mind,” he said. Sources said Upper Kolab authorities called for a meeting of the Pani Panchayat Supreme Committee in this regard on December 10.