Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, inaugurated the medium irrigation Rukura Irrigation Project near Bonai on Wednesday besides initiating 30 other projects in this sub-division and said the promise of irrigating 10 lakh hectares in the state will be achieved by March 2019.

We have promised the people in 2014 that over 10 lakh hectares will be irrigated to benefit farmers and double their income, on Wednesday we are on road to fulfil our promise by March 2019, he said.

He pointed out that in the year 2000 the budget for irrigation department was Rs 850 crore, now it has been increased to Rs 10,200 crore. Over the next five years over Rs 70,000 crore will be spent on irrigation, he said.

The CM inaugurated the Rukura Dam at Rukura, which is situated at 12 kilometres from Bonai and seventy from here. The Rukura project, completed at a cost of Rs. 296 crores, is constructed over the Rukura nallah, and is surrounded by high hills and receives water from the monsoon water flowing into it along with from other sources.

The executive engineer of Rukura Irrigation Project Biswajeet Panigrahi said, “the size of the reservoir is over 666 hectares. The height of the dam is 26 meters, the upper width is 6 metres and the length is 1133 meters. And the maximum flood discharging capacity is 1442.50 cusecs. It has only one main canal and the length is over 10.872 kilometres.”

This will help both in the rabi and kharif seasons to the farmers. For the project over 171.77 hectares of government land along with 343.24 hectares of forest lands, and 152.63 ha of private land was acquired.

For the project four villages and 695 families were affected, submerged, as per the 2010 census. “During rabi season it will irrigate 2185 ha and in khareef season it will 5463 ha will receive water. As the area has a good rainfall, 1708 mm, the water storage will be very good and there will be no problem,” said the EE. The CM then flew to Bonai and addressed a meeting at the Raja Dharani Dhara High School ground.

Addressing the gathering he said, “my government was and will always remain committed to the development of the state and also to the people. The projects which were inaugurated and for which foundation stones were laid will certainly go a long way in developing Bonai and its nearby areas.”

He said the poor will be provided houses under the Biju Pucca Ghar scheme, the kendu leaf pluckers are being taken care off by way of increasing their wages and rates of the leaf, he noted.

The CM inaugurated and laid foundations stones for another 31 projects. Amongst these were seven Kalyan Mandaps and information centres at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs.

Besides, he also inaugurated few small bridges and culverts. In total foundation for 22 projects were laid and 11, including the Rukura Dam were inaugurated. The foundations were laid for roads and culverts projects