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  India   All India  21 Jun 2018  Odisha: Man cuts hillsides to irrigate parched lands

Odisha: Man cuts hillsides to irrigate parched lands

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Jun 21, 2018, 6:26 am IST
Updated : Jun 21, 2018, 6:26 am IST

Fondly called as “Canal Man”, Daitary patiently cut the steep hillsides for 4 years to make the stream slowly snake down.

Now that the canal is ready, residents of Daitary’s Baitarani village wish that the structure could be given a concrete lining to ensure a smooth flow of water. (Representational image)
 Now that the canal is ready, residents of Daitary’s Baitarani village wish that the structure could be given a concrete lining to ensure a smooth flow of water. (Representational image)

Keonjhar: Daitari Nayak, a 70-year-old Odisha farmer has single-handedly carved out a three kilometer canal from the Gonasika mountains in Keonjhar district to ensure flow of water from a stream to the parched land in the downstream for cultivation.

Fondly called as “Canal Man” for digging the canal, Daitary patiently cut the steep hillsides for four years and cleared the rocks to make the stream slowly snake down.

“My fields were dry and there was no other way I could water them. The only option was to use the water from the nearby hill. When I first began cutting the mountains, many laughed at me but a few months later, my five brothers joined me. Together we made this happen” recalled Daitari on Wednesday. “It is the fruit of our efforts and we are happy for being able to make this channel for the villages. There were times when the task would get extremely difficult but we never gave up,” said Daitari. “We used only digging bars and hoes to cut the channel. It took us four years but we are happy that we finally completed it. The smiles on the faces of our family and other villagers are our rewards,” said a Mayadhar Nayak, Daitari’s brother.

Now that the canal is ready, residents of Daitary’s Baitarani village wish that the structure could be given a concrete lining to ensure a smooth flow of water.

“The government can help us in improving the structure. This will benefit all the villagers with a perennial supply of water for irrigation purposes,” another villager Kulamani Behera, observed. Nayak’s story brings alive memories of Dasrath Manjhi, a man from Bihar who single-handedly built a road through mountains.

Tags: canal, parched lands