CM announces underground pipeline-based irrigation system for Bijepur

Bhubaneswar: Keeping an eye on the upcoming byelection to Bijepur assembly constituency, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced a underground pipeline-based irrigation system for the region.

The project, named as Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System, at Bijepur in Bargarh district will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 1250 crore. It will irrigate 32,000 hectares, including 25,600 hectares in Kharif and 7,000 hectares in Rabi season.

“Augmentation of irrigation potential has been a long-standing demand of the people of Bargarh district, especially of drought-prone areas. The project will pump water from Bargarh Main Canal through an 18 km-long underground rising main pipeline, where from irrigation will be provided through underground pipelines-based distribution system with outlets for every four hectares of land,” Naveen said.

The project will utilise latest technologies in irrigation and will be developed as a model project for the entire country, he added.

The opposition parties called the decision ‘clearly politically motivated’.

“They (BJD) are trying to lure the people with sops ahead of the bypoll. Not a single mega irrigation project has been completed after the Chief Minister came to power,” said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.

Congress Spokesperson Ganeswar Behera said the decision reeks of political interest and an attempt by the ruling BJD to win the Bijepur bypoll. “Why the state government realised the need of irrigation project in Bargarh after 17 years of reign?” he questioned.

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