Saryu Nahar Pariyojna: Project Envisioned Five Decades Ago, To Be Inaugurated Today

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 11, 2021 12:10 PM +05:30 IST
Saryu Nahar Pariyojna: Project Envisioned Five Decades Ago, To Be Inaugurated Today The Saryu Barrage at Bahraich (Twitter)
  • The Saryu Project was envisioned in 1972, and work began in Bahraich district in 1978.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 318 km long ‘Saryu Nahar Pariyojna’ that extends from Bahraich, Shravasti and Balrampur to Gorakhpur, from Balrampur, on 11 December, today.

The canal project would not only facilitate irrigation in the region, but it could also prove extremely critical in dealing with the everlasting issue of flood and drought in Purvanchal.

Farmers of the Terai region are expected to benefit with the completion of the Saryu Nahar Pariyojna, which is also the country’s largest irrigation project. One of the objectives of the canal project is to fulfil the aspirations of the farmers by providing them with enhanced irrigation facilities.

Realisation of A B Vajpayee’s aim

Uttar Pradesh Jal Shakti Minister Dr. Mahendra Singh said that with the inauguration of this project, built on the “taposthali” (shrine) of Lord Buddha and on the “karmasthali” (workplace) of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and late Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, PM Modi will give an epochal message not only to the country and the state, but to the entire world. The minister said that Vajpayee had planned to link rivers, and with the completion of this project, his dream is also coming true.

Direct benefit to around 25 Lakh farmers of 9 districts of Purvanchal

The Jal Shakti Minister informed that the 318 km-long main canal, connecting Ghagra, Saryu, Rapti, Ban Ganga and Rohini rivers, and 6,600 km of link canals connected with it, will benefit 25 to 30 lakh farmer of nine districts of Purvanchal, namely Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Sant Kabir Nagar and Gorakhpur.

The minister said that the project costing Rs 9,802 crore would provide water for irrigation to 14.04 lakh hectares of land, and it will also reduce the risk of catastrophic annual floods in the region caused by the excess water flow from Nepal. This canal project was long-due and is one of the 99 projects in the country that PM Modi had chosen to complete.

The Jal Shakti Minister said that work on this project started in 1978 but the previous governments "did not pay much attention" to it. He said that the said project has now been completed due to the efforts of PM Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath. After a wait of over four decades, the Prime Minister will dedicate the canal project to the people of Purvanchal on Saturday (11 December).

PM Modi will inaugurate the canal by releasing water from the Saryu Barrage- which is the origin of the canal- for the very first time, informed Sujata Singh, Superintendent of Police (SP), Bahraich.

A brief overview of the project

As per the information available on the Central Water Commission website, the project is being implemented in phases i.e. Phase-I (Pre-AIBP), Phase-II (AIBP), until 2012-13, and then Phase-III (PMKSY-NP). An irrigation Potential of 9.31 lakh ha was reportedly created till the completion of the first two phases.

Subsequently, balance works in Saryu System and new works in Rapti System with balance IP of 4.73 lakh ha were included under the National Project (NP) Scheme in the Year 2012-13. The final cost of the work was estimated at Rs. 9802.67 crore, out of which the cost of National Project components under PMKSY was Rs. 5803.61 crore (2016 price Level).

The main components of the project includes two barrages (Saryu Barrage and Rapti Barrage), four main canals {Saryu Link Channel (SLC), Saryu Main Canal (SLC), Rapti Link Channel (RLC) and Rapti Main Canal (RMC)}, four pump canals (in Utraula, Dumariaganj, Ayodhya, and Gola), and ten branch canals.

From Rs 78 crore in 1978 to Rs 9802.67 crore in 2018

To facilitate the farmers of the Terai region with better irrigation facilities, the Saryu Project was envisioned in 1972. The work on the project began in Bahraich district in 1978. At that time, all four districts of the Devipatan division, i.e. Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, and Gonda, were a part of this project. It was in 1982 that the canal project was extended to other districts. The project gained momentum in 2015 when the BJP government started the ‘PM Krishi Sinchai Yojna’ which was aimed at providing water for irrigation to every farm.

The project was expanded to several districts at different stages of the work, and with every extension, the cost of the project kept on increasing. When the project began in 1978, a sum of Rs 78 crore was sanctioned for the project. In 1982, with extension to other districts, the estimated cost of the project became Rs 299 crore, which was later increased to Rs 7270 crore in 2010. In 2018, the revised cost of the project reached Rs 9802.67 crore.

A huge relief for those dependent on untimely monsoons

The barrage and link canals built under the project on the Rapti river in Laxmanpur Kohti village of Bhinga tehsil of Shravasti district, adjoining the India-Nepal border, stand witness to the stark transformation in irrigation. Most of the farmers in Bahraich and Shravasti district have small or marginal land holdings. The main crops grown here include paddy, wheat, maize and sugarcane.

Given the presence of rocks in the farming land in Nawabganj of Bahraich district, Jamunah of Shravasti district, and in many other villages of the Sirisya block, it was extremely difficult to manage irrigation through boring wells. The farmers were thus forced to be dependent on nature, that is on the now unpredictable monsoon cycle and other such ways, for irrigating their farming lands. Thus, the Saryu Nahar Pariyojna, is bringing a new hope for the farmers of this region, who are now not only assured of timely irrigation of their crops, but are also relieved of the tension of the annual floods.

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