After waiting for decades, farmers in Marihan block of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh receive water for irrigating their crops as the Meja-Jirgo section of the Bansagar canal, which was dysfunctional, has been operationalised. Gaon Connection had recently reported on the plight of these farmers .
As per the latest official communication, problems in the canal network have now been fixed and irrigation water is now flowing in it. Photo by arrangement
Almost two weeks after Gaon Connection reported on the farmers in Marihan block of Mirzapur, who were unable to reap any benefits out of the Bansagar canal project, the Meja-Jirgo channel of the canal network has been operationalised. Meja reservoir of the project has started to supply water in the channel which is likely to benefit thousands of farmers who till now were dependent on rains for farming.
As per an official press statement released by the district administration yesterday on August 4, “Mirzapur District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar inspected the Meja-Jargo link canal and it was found that the water was being supplied through it.”
In its report published on July 22, the local villagers from the Majhwani and Dayalpur villages (Kotwa area) in Marihan block had told Gaon Connection that three years after the inauguration of the Bansagar project, they continued to face hardships in irrigating their agricultural fields. According to the farmers, the canal work in their area was incomplete because of which no water reached their fields.
Six days later, on July 28, the district magistrate visited the field and inspected the canal work and ordered immediate completion of the pending works.
As per the latest official communication, problems in the canal network have now been fixed and irrigation water is now flowing in it.
The Meja-Jirgo Link Channel is a 74.13 kilometres long portion of the Bansagar canal that passes through the Marihan block. The channel is built to transfer water at a rate of 16.43 cubic metre per second from Meja reservoir to the existing Jirgo reservoir. The canal between the two reservoirs supplies water for irrigation to the farmers in the area.
Bansagar dam is built on the Sone river near Deolond village in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. Through its network of canals, it is meant to meet the irrigation needs of farmers in three states — Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
More leakages to be plugged
However, during the recent inspection on August 4, water seepage was found at certain points in the canal, and the district magistrate has ordered the concerned officials to get it repaired with the ‘slightest possible delay’.
“Undulation and rain cuts were also found in some places along the canal. The project engineer has been asked to take necessary measures to fix these issues along the canal,” the August 4 statement added. (Undulation refers to the irregularity in the plane surface of the path along the canal and rain cuts are caused by the erosion of the land along the canal.)
Mirzapur district magistrate also expressed displeasure at the illegal pump sets and generators being used to drain water from the canal at certain locations and asked the officials to get these removed.
Laxkar also asked the officials to complete the pending construction work without delaying it further.
Gaon Connection had reported how on July 13 Uttar Pradesh’s Minister for Jal Shakti Mahendra Singh had held a meeting at Mirzapur district headquarter to enquire about the development of the Bansagar project’s irrigation canals. Sources informed Gaon Connection that in the meeting, senior officials were reprimanded for the delay in providing irrigation facilities to the farmers.
After the meeting, the minister had told the mediapersons:“Due to some seepage (leaking) issues, the canal construction work is getting delayed. There are some points on the canal network that have leaks and the work is underway to repair and make the canal functional within a month.”
With inputs from Brijendra Dubey, Mirzapur (UP).