Cabinet Approves Irrigation Scheme Worth More Than Rs 93,000 Crore

by Arun Kumar Das - Dec 16, 2021 11:48 AM +05:30 IST
Cabinet Approves Irrigation Scheme Worth More Than Rs 93,000 CroreMassive irrigation scheme to benefit 22 lakh farmers.
Snapshot
  • The Rs 93,068 crore irrigation scheme under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will benefit 22 lakh farmers.

The Union cabinet has approved a massive irrigation scheme with an outlay of over Rs 93,000 crore to benefit of 22 lakh farmers.

Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) for 2021-26 with an outlay of Rs 93,068 crore including Rs 37,454 crore central assistance to states.

According to Jal Shakti Ministry, the Centre would also provide Rs 20,434.56 crore of debt servicing for loan availed by the government for irrigation development during PMKSY 2016-21.

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Har Khet ko Paani (HKKP) and Watershed Development components have been approved for continuation during 2021-26.

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme, a flagship programme of the government, aims at providing financial support to irrigation projects. Total additional irrigation potential creation targeted during 2021-26 under AIBP is 13.88 lakh hectare.

Apart from completion of 60 ongoing projects including their 30.23 lakh hectare command area development, additional projects can also be taken up. The inclusion criteria have been relaxed for projects under tribal and drought prone areas.

Central funding of 90 per cent of water component for two national projects, namely Renukaji Dam Project (Himachal Pradesh) and Lakhwar Multipurpose Project (Uttarakhand) has been provisioned.

The two projects would provide storage in Yamuna basin benefitting six states of upper Yamuna basin, augmenting water supply to Delhi as well Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, UP, Haryana, and Rajasthan and a major step towards rejuvenation of Yamuna.

Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP) aims for enhancement of physical access on the farm and expansion of cultivable area under assured irrigation. Under HKKP, surface minor irrigation and repair-renovation-restoration of water bodies component of PMKSY is targeted to provide additional 4.5 lakh hectare irrigation.

In view of the importance of rejuvenation of water bodies, the Cabinet has approved a paradigm shift in funding of their rejuvenation in both urban and rural areas, with significant expansion of their inclusion criteria, and enhancement of central assistance from 25 per cent to 60 per cent in the general area.

Further, the ground water component of HKKP, approved provisionally for 2021-22, targets creation of irrigation potential of 1.52 lakh hectare.

Watershed Development component focuses on development of rain-fed areas towards soil and water conservation, regeneration of ground water, arresting runoff and promoting extension activities related to water harvesting and management.

The approved Watershed Development component of Department of Land Resources envisages completion of sanctioned projects covering 49.5 lakh hectare rainfed/degraded lands to bring additional 2.5 lakh hectare under protective irrigation, during 2021-26. A specific provision for development of springsheds has been included in the programme.

Launched in 2015, PMKSY is an umbrella scheme, providing central grants to the state governments for specific activities. It consists of two major components by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, namely, Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), and Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).

HKKP, in turn, consists of four sub-components, being command area development (CAD), surface minor irrigation (SMI), repair, renovation and restoration (RRR) of water bodies, and ground water development. In addition, the watershed development part is being implemented by the department of land resources.

Another component of PMKSY, per drop more crop, is being implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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