Sukapaika River: Breathing life into a dead river in Odisha

Source: The post is based on the article “Breathing life into a dead river in Odishapublished in The Hindu on 25th October 2022

What is the News?

The Sukapaika River which stopped flowing 70 years ago is set to be rejuvenated as the Odisha government has started working on its revival plan following a recent direction from the National Green Tribunal(NGT).

What is the Sukapaika River?

Sukapaika is one of the several distributaries of the mighty Mahanadi river in Odisha.

The river originated from Mahanadi river near Ayatpur village in Cuttack. It flowed 27.50 km before meeting the Mahanadi again at Bankala. 

When it was flowing freely, Sukapaika river acted as a source of drinking water, irrigation and other livelihood opportunities to over 425 villages under 26-gram panchayats.

Why has the river dried up?

In the 1950s, the Odisha government closed the Sukapaika river mouth enabling the development of the Taladanda Canal System, a major canal of the State. 

This led to the river dying a painful death and the process was aggravated by agricultural encroachments that had sprung up on the riverbanks.

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