The callous attitude of officials of the rural development department for not closing the excavation on Machagaon canal for the proposed bridge before monsoon has put people of four panchayats in Biridi block in trouble as water floods their paddy fields.
The irrigation department officials have taken strong exception to the lapse on the part of the rural development department authorities for unplanned excavations and for not informing them about the excavation of the canal embankment.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone of a high-level bridge on Biluakhai River in 2016. The work remains incomplete due to apathy of the rural development department and the concerned contractor.
The proposed bridge was to benefit villagers of Baisimouza of Biridi block and other villages of Jagatsinghpur district to reach Bhubaneswer, Puri, Konark, Kakatpur etc. The connectivity proposal was also to construct a bridge at Asthasambhu on Machgaon canal embankment and another at Balia on the same canal canal embankment.
Irrigation department had asked the rural development department to stop excavation work on the bridge since water is to be released to Machagaon canal for flood control during monsoon. This is unauthorised and illegal cutting of the canal remarked an irrigation department officer while blaming the RD department.
For construction of the bridge at two locations Astasambhu and Balia of Machgaon canal, RD department had dug up portions of the canal embankment. There is a possibility of a breach causing heavy damage to the canal as well as cultivated lands.
Sarpanch of Hajipur Bimal Kumar Sethy alleged contractors call the shots and the officials do nothing. Release of canal water would create breaches on these locations in which ten panchyats of Biridi block will be affected and cultivated lands will also be affected, he added.