Proposed Heirok dam has potential to irrigate 1950 ha asserts official source

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IMPHAL, July 20: The proposed concrete dam of the state government, over Heirok River at Heirok Litan Makhong in Thoubal which has a target of providing irrigation facilities to farmers of the area covering around 1850 hectares has the potential to increase its target to 1950 hectares after its completion as against the 1850 hectares, said a source.

According to an official source, the project report of the proposed dam prepared by the state planning department which has been already approved by the state government mentioned that the project was undertaken under the initiatives of the state minor irrigation department with the main objective to harness the potential of the river and provided irrigation to farmers of the area and helped them to realize double or triple cropping in their farms covering around 1850 hectares of land. However, the report has also concluded that on completion of the project the dam could cover upto 1950 hectares of land as compared to the targeted 1850 hectares.

The report also mentioned that the main objective of the project is to provide permanent diversions and assure irrigation facilities to the paddy fields inside the projected area and further help the farmers in the implementation of multiple cropping and introduction of High Yielding Variety (HYV) of crops.

Further according to the source, the project will convert the rain fed area into an irrigated one and help in increasing the production of rice and other crops at par with high yielding farms of other states. It further aims to encourage cultivation of cash crops like gram, pea, potato, cabbage, tomato, mustard and cucumber etc. so as to increase the income of the farmers.

According to the project report, the completed project which is targeted for 2012-13 completion will provide direct benefits of year long cultivation to farmers of Mklang Loukol, Sangaithel Makha Loukol, Ngairnagbam Loukol, Thangjing khul Loukol and Haorou loukol.

It is also officially mentioned that, no clearance from forest an Environment department is required as the project itself is surface flow diversion scheme requiring no storage reservoir in the upstream section of the project. Besides adequate measures for soil erosion control in both the upstream and downstream of the dam has been provided in the form of mini barrage forestation.

Further according to the report no additional staff is required as adequate manpower is already available in the state Minor Irrigation department, stated the source.

Further, the project will be maintained by the Water User Association (WUA) and collect water tax from the farmers with an annual revenue collection of Rs Rs.5.40 lakhs which is 5.0% of the project cost.

The report has also mentioned that at present the crop yield (which is mainly paddy) of the area covered by the project is about 3000 Kg/hectare, which is likely to be increased to 4000 Kg/hectare after the completion of the dam, it added.

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