Enraged farmers staged a road blockade at Bodhei on Manijanga-Erasama road and paralysed vehicular traffic alleging that their agricultural land was water logged due to sub-standard work and callousness of officers concerned with the drainage and water resources department.
“At least 5000 hectors across several villages in Tirtol block have been submerged in the downpour over the last few days and the water logging has damaged paddy seeds that had been sown,” they said.
“The drainage system is not functioning because of sub-standard work and choking of drains. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is only holding review meetings and talking about de-weeding canals etc, whereas at the ground level everything is done on pen and paper and the money is pocketed by contractors,” they further alleged.
“Since four days the water logging has taken place and no officer bothered to visit.”
Gagan Mohanty, a panchayat samiti member of Bodhei said “thousands of hectors of paddy field in Bodhei and other panchyats of Tirtol block have been inundated by rain water since five days but no steps have been taken by irrigation department to release these water as result paddy crops which were sowing and transplanting have been completely damaged.
Lead by former sarpanch Purna Chandra Swain, the farmers blocked the road for several hours today. Others at the protest site said 30,000 hectors of paddy field in Raghunathpur, Biridi, Tirtol and Balikuda are facing the same problem and none from the administration has visited the area till date.
Meanwhile, the activists of Naba Nirman Krushan Sangthan submitted a memorandum to the administration demanding immediate steps to deal with the water logging problem.
Tehsildar of Tirtol Kanak Chamapa Meher however said that the officials of the irrigation department have talked to the farmers and assured them of necessary steps. The road block was called off following the assurances, said the Tehsildar.