The government has taken fresh steps towards quenching the thirst of some of the most drought-prone regions of the country by flagging off 99 irrigation projects.
Work on the major and medium irrigation schemes, which are expected to benefit 7.6 million hectares of land, got underway yesterday, fulfilling a key promise made in this year’s Union budget that prioritised irrigation and drought-proofing.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made irrigation a top priority. Earlier, irrigation structures were made but not utilised,” said water resources minister Uma Bharti at an event to launch the scheme in Delhi yesterday (6 September).
The irrigation projects pending for years are slated for completion by 2019, of which 23 are supposed to be completed by 2016-17, while 31 and 45, respectively, are said to be completed in the following two years. The total estimated cost of the project is supposed to be Rs 77,595 crore, which will be spent over four years.
In this year’s Union budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the creation of a long-term irrigation fund of Rs 20,000 crore under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).
Earlier, Nabard was lending only to state governments to satisfy their irrigation requirements. This will be the first time that it will give to both the central and state governments for the same purpose.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!