Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 15:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the progress of ‘Biju Krushak Yojana’ at the secretariat and asked officials to expedite the electrification of irrigation projects.
The scheme announced in 2010-11 aims at facilitating irrigation to farmers where deep borewells are drilled in areas that abound in hard rocks.
As per government data, 57,632 borewells have been drilled in 26 districts under this scheme so far. These projects irrigate 1,70,000 hectares of land in the state. Out of the 57,632 borewells, 20,255 have been provided with electricity so far. This pace of work prompted Chief Minister Patnaik to ask officials to ensure electrification of the remaining 30,000 projects at the earliest.
As per the geological surveys, Odisha has 1.67 million hectare meters of underground water. However, only 2-3% of it is being used.
The meeting also discussed ways to meet the target of providing irrigation facility to 1 million hectares of land in the next five years and initiating measures to revamp and accelerates the large, medium, small and micro irrigation projects in the state.
Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati, Additional secretary Aditya Kumar Padhi, Development Commissioner Upendra Nath Behera, secretaries of agriculture, energy and water resources departments and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.