The Odisha Government has initiated process to formulate a new scheme for construction of instream water storages to meet future water requirement besides recharging groundwater and creating additional irrigation facilities.
What is the Scheme ?
The Water Resources department has mooted a proposal to spend Rs 11,713 crore over a period of six years for the proposed Instream Storage Structure (ISS) scheme.
While the department has planned to spend Rs 500 crore this fiscal, the project is to be completed by March 2025. The scheme will benefit areas that are having less than 35 per cent irrigation coverage and having mostly SC and ST population.
It has been planned to construct at least 40 instream water storage structures on major river basins, including Rushikulya, Brahmani, Baitarani and Mahanadi.
Endowed with numerous rivers and rivulets and coupled with abundant rainfall, though Odisha does not have to worry for water availability from July to February, people feel the pinch during rest of the months due to increased demand of water.
Several parts of the State face acute shortage of water from March to June despite such abundance of rainfall and rivers and it necessitated conservation of runoff water to meet the non-monsoon requirements.
How the Scheme will Help ?
The structures will not only help recharge groundwater, but also help partial routing of flood by delaying the medium size flood peaks.
It has also been planned to create large water bodies within the river embankment in the upstream by setting up such structures without causing any displacement of people so that the seasonal variation of the ground water level can be minimized by maintaining the instream storage up to pond level throughout the year.