Odisha Govt Orders Removal Of Encroachment At Deras Dam After Allegation By Aparajita Sarangi

Bhubaneswar: Acting swiftly after BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi drew Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s attention to illegal obstruction of minor irrigation project at Deras dam, the Odisha government has ordered immediate steps for removal of encroachment.

The firebrand BJP leader, who visited Deras Minor Irrigation Project on the outskirts of Odisha capital following allegation that it has been obstructed due to land encroachment, wrote to the Chief Minister on Friday seeking his intervention in the interest of the poor farmers.

The administration has now instructed the authorities concerned to remove the obstruction by making the land encroachment-free, sources said on Saturday.

Chief Engineer of Minor Irrigation Basanta Kumar Raut has instructed the Superintending Engineer of MI Division, Khurda that part of the left main canal of Deras project has been obstructed by some encroachers. As a result, ayacutdars are deprived of irrigation since last two years, he said in a communication.

“Immediate steps may be taken to make the canal free from encroachment. The revenue authorities may be moved immediately for expeditious action for removal of unauthorised blocking so as to make smooth irrigation flow to the tail end,” the letter said.

The Chief Engineer also asked the Superintending Engineer to explain the reasons for not taking any effective steps against the unauthorised encroachment of the canal even though irrigation to the said ayacut has happened for last two years.

After receiving complaints from local farmers regarding the matter, the BJP MP had visited Deras area and held discussions with local residents.

After examining the truth behind the matter by digging some portion of the place, they decided to send letters to the Chief Minister and the authorities concerned with all the related supporting documents requesting to take proper action to remove the illegal encroachment within three days.

In her letter to the CM, Aparajita said that the people of Bhagabatipur and Giringaput mouzas under Kantabada and Mendhasal panchayats respectively had met her about a month back and complained against an influential woman.

The villagers alleged that the influential woman had been on land buying spree in order to grab as much land as she can. She has encroached upon around 150 acre of land in these two mouzas.

“On the request of villagers, I visited the place on August 21 and was aghast to find barbed wire fencing with granite pillars along with a gate constructed to restrict the entry of outsiders to this huge patch of land,” she said.

Following checking of Revenue Records, it was found that there are Anabadi plots, private plots, Hindustan Aeronautics Employees Association plots, Thakur Jami and a portion of Deras MIP Irrigation Canal within this patch of 150 acre encroached by the woman, the BJP MP said.

About 400 metre of irrigation canal within the encroached land has been blocked by the ‘encroacher’ two years back depriving around 300 acre of irrigation.

“I went to the spot once again on August 7. This time I was accompanied by the officials of the Irrigation department. All complaints of the villagers were found to be true. The findings were video recorded in presence of Irrigation and Police department officials. A portion of the blocked canal was also unearthed,” she said in the letter.

Stating that this was a very serious matter and the government had remain silent on the issue, Aparajita wanted the government to take corrective steps. She said the irrigation canal of Deras MIP should be unblocked and water should flow unhindered to 300 acre of land as was happening two years back.

Similarly, the encroached land must be freed, barbed wire fencing and the gate removed and demarcation by the Revenue Department must be ensured, the MP demanded.

She also said if the government failed to take any step on the matter, the residents of the area would be compelled to fight for themselves.


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