Bhubaneswar: Following earlier decisions of the Government, the construction of Bridge-cum-Check dams made headway in the State with encouraging outcomes and people’s acceptance. This was known from a high-level review meeting held on digital mode from Lokseba Bhawan under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra recently.
Reviewing the progress made so far, Chief Secretary Mahapatra said, “Bridge-cum-Check dams, while raising the surface water level in the river beds will significantly help in groundwater recharge and rejuvenation of eco-system”. He added, “It is a cost-effective technology having multiple micro-level outcomes. The water conserved through this method could be utilized for irrigation on both sides of the river for growing vegetables and cash crops. The water could also be used for drinking water projects”. It would also help in creating a green environment and checking soil erosion. The raised water level could be effectively used for pisciculture through self-help groups. Adding to Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner Sri Pradeep Kumar Jena said that the bridge cum check-dams also allowed the usual flow of water in the river/creek where it was constructed as the water was held only up to 1.5 mt height. Sri Jena added, “The Technology proved effective and helpful in the context of the geo-climatic conditions of Odisha”.
The review showed that 45 such check dams were completed within two months under different bridges in various districts. Out of this 31 check dams were completed by the works dept and 14 were completed by the department of rural development. Besides, 480 bridges were identified by both the departments where One 1.5 mt height check dam could yield around 1000 cubic meters. For example, a check dam under a thirty-meter bridge could yield 30,000 cubic meters of water at a particular point in time. Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed both the departments to complete around 300 bridges during the current financial year. It was estimated that around Rs. 413.81 cr would be invested in the construction of these bridges.
Further, Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed the departments of water resources and horticulture to motivate and advise the farmers to have land on both sides of the river/creek (where such constructions were completed) for raising vegetables and cash crops.
Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary Rural Development Paradeep Kumar Jena, Additional Chief Secretary Water Resources Smt Anu Garg, Principal Secretary Works Vir Vikram Yadav, Principal Secretary Finance Vishal Kumar Dev along with senior officers and engineers of concerned departments participated in the deliberations.