Posts filed under ‘Acute Water Shortage’
The current Odisha government should try to resolve the Mahanadi issue by dialogue through proper channel. Unnecessary blocking of trains, and violent protests against Chatisgad will create problem for poor Koshali people living in Raipur and other cities.
CM Naveen Patnaik must resolve this matter with utmost care!
Bhubaneswar, Sep 2 (IANS) Poor monsoon rains have triggered drought fears in half of Orissa, an official said Thursday. ‘At least 15 of state’s 30 districts have recorded less then normal (averagge) rains,’ a senior official of the state agriculture department told IANS.
Paddy and other kharif crops are likely to be the worst affected in the tribal populated districts of Sundergarh and Mayurbhanj, he said. A good monsoon is crucial for this eastern state which contributes almost one-tenth of India’s rice production.
Last year, 3,264 villages in 15 of the state’s 30 districts faced a drought due to a scanty monsoon and erratic rains.
‘The state had received rains 21 per cent below normal (average) by the end of August, as a result of which the threat of drought is looming in several districts’, he said.
The other districts which received less rains included Jajpur, Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Subarnapur, and Kendrapada, he said
Following is a report from Oriya daily the Samaj:
Crucial operations for the Kharif paddy cultivation like transplanting and beushaning (blind cultivation) have come to a standstill in Balangir district due to the lack of rainfall since the first week of August. There is a threat of drought here.
Most agricultural lands in the district are upland where paddy is sown by the broadcasting method. Agriculture official sources said that broadcasting of paddy cultivation has been taken up in 1,01,100 hectare of land. However, shortage of rainfall has affected beushaning.
Similarly, in Bahal (low land), transplanting has to be taken up in 77,000 hectares of land, but the absence of rain has affected the operation. The transplanting process has been completed only in 60 per cent of the Bahal land.
A few days ago, Bongomunda and Titilagarh blocks received good rain. However, there has been no rainfall in Patnagarh and Balangir blocks, said an agriculture official. Unless there is rainfall within the next seven days, the crop situation, first of all, in uplands would be really precarious. As such, 30 per cent of upland has not been covered at all, he pointed out.
If the prolonged dry spell continues, it may result in drought, said the agriculture official. As farmers point out, in previous years they used to complete all operations, including transplanting and beushaning by Shravan Purnima as there was hardly any problem of rain. The number of continuous rainy days, locally known as Jhadi Barsha, is absent this year.
There seems to be a drought-like situation. The district administration should prepare contingency plans for this, said president of the Zilla Krushak Mahasnagh Sudhir Parischha.
With the monsoon playing hide-and-seek, farmers are worried to save their crops while a few of them expect formation of low pressure to end the dry spell.
Following is a report from The Samaj Oriya daily (29.07.2010):
SAMBALPUR: Even as low pressure-induced rain has brought some respite from sultry weather, it has failed to cheer up the farmers in Sambalpur district, particularly those in rain-fed areas.
Farmers who have gone for transplantation, are awaiting more rains that would allow them to prepare the bed for transplantation. In Kuchinda sub-division, comprising blocks of Kuchinda, Jamankira and Bamra, germination drought seems imminent in rain-fed areas where farmers have sown seeds. Though there was intermittent rain today, it brought little cheer for the farmers. Normally the sub-division receives about 1,500 mm rain annually while it is 464.5 mm in July. Despite drought condition last year till July 20, Kuchinda had received 306.8 mm, Jamankira 333.5 mm while Bamra had 391.6 mm of rain. But this year till July 20, Kuchinda, Jamankira and Bamra received 68 mm, 96.1 mm and 79 mm of rain respectively.
This insufficient rainfall coupled with attack of swarming caterpillars has added to the woes of farmers. Although District Agriculture Officer Harmohan Patra said rains would help improve the situation, the ground realities present a grim scenario.
THE HIRAKUD Dam (HD) in Orissa has the unique distinction of being the longest dam on earth. Built across the river Mahanadi, about 15 km upstream of Sambalpur, HD is the first post independence multi-purpose river valley project in India. It is intended for flood control irrigation and power generation. The foundation stone of the dam was laid by Sir Howthrone Lewis on March 15, 1946 and on January 13, 1957, Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the dam calling it the temple of modern India.
The project provides water for 1,55,635 hectares of Kharif and 1,08,385 hectares of Rabi irrigation of undivided Sambalpur, Bolangir and parts of Kalahandi districts. The water released through the power house further irrigates 4,36,000 hectares of the Mahanadi delta. The dam’s installed capacity of power generation is 307.4 mw through its two power houses. The project provides flood protection to 9,500 sq km of delta area in the districts of Cuttack and Puri.
At the time of its construction, the project involved submergence of 240 villages with fertile agricultural land of about 42,000 hectares. The land-owing peasants were paid compensation in cash, which varied from Rs 50 to 200 per acre. Around 22,000 families were displaced by the project and their displacement and rehabilitation has been a major issue in Orissa politics since the 1950s.
About 1.5 lakh people were affected by the Hirakud project.
In the original estimate, an amount of Rs 12 crores was provided for payment of compensation to the affected people. After revision, the amount was reduced to Rs 9.5 crores and the total compensation paid to the people was, in reality, only Rs 3.32 crores. A large number of families were evacuated from their hearth and homes without compensation from 1956 onwards.
At the moment, more than 6,000 families are yet to receive their compensation and due to faulty and inefficient recording of personal details, they have lost all hopes and have exhausted all efforts in the last 50 years. More than 10,000 people, on March 30, 2007, in Bhubaneswar, organised a rally, under the banner of Hirakud Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti, rising slogans against the government for its continuous apathy and indifference to the ousters of Hirakud Dam.
“Since long, the government and administration have been making promises to look into the grievances of the displaced people but nothing has been done. Out of the 22,000 families, 12,700 families are scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST), and these were forcibly displaced,” said Laxmi Gudu. He further added, “so far 7000 families have been resettled in 17 rehabilitation camps and neighbouring villages. It is estimated that about 9,944 families have not yet been rehabilitated and not been paid their due compensation. Providing homestead land and resettlement including other facilities for the ousters is laying in the cold storage since long. ”
The Hirakhand Nagarik Parishad (HKNP), an elite organisation of Sambalpur town, made a representation to the President of India complaining against the supply of water to the industries. They also alleged that the dry part of the reservoir is being encroached upon by some industrialists, who have raised concrete cement structures.
On October 26, 2006, the locals and farmers formed a 20 km long human chain, from one end of the dam to the other, to voice their protest against the decision of the state government. The people’s discontent has found expression through numerous rallies, protest marches and public discussion and meetings. The voice of protest hardly reaches the government seated in Bhubaneswar. Supply of water was seriously criticised at the national level conference of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, held at Delhi. It was pointed out that more than two lakh farmers, directly, and 50,000 farmers, indirectly, would lose their livelihood because of the government’s decision to supply water to industrial houses.