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Centre sanctions Rs 5,500 cr for State's irrigation projects

Funds allocated for Narayanpur left bank, Upper Tunga projects
Last Updated 10 October 2013, 20:23 IST

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 5,500 crore to Karnataka for two major irrigation projects -remodeling of Narayanpur left bank canal and Upper Tunga project.

The Ministry of Water Resources under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) project sanctioned Rs 4,051 crore for Narayanpur left bank canal (NLBC) modernisation works and Rs 2,500 crore for Upper Tunga project, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters here on Thursday.

Of the total project costs, 90 per cent will be borne by the Centre and the rest by the Karnataka government and all the works have to be completed by 2016. The sanctioning of fresh funds for modernisation of NLBC will help in irrigating an additional 1.5 lakh hectares in Shahapur, Shorapur, Jewargi, Sindagi and Indi taluks of Yadgir, Gulbarga and Bijapur districts, Kharge said.

The NLBC, the biggest canal network under the Upper Krishna Project, was designed for a carrying capacity of 10,000 cusecs to irrigate 4.50 lakh hectares of command area spread across the three  districts.

However, the existing facility failed to irrigate targeted land due to damages and seepages in the canal network systems, absence of proper rotation system and management of water flow and absence of proper surface and sub-surface drainage.

The distribution network under NLBC, including Indi branch canal, Jewargi branch canal, Mudbal branch canal, Shahapur branch Canal, Indi lift canal and sub systems, will be modernised.

Upper Tunga project

The sanctioning of Rs 2,500 crore will help in expediting the pending works of the Upper Tunga project in Shimoga district.

The state government has spent more than Rs. 1,500 crore on the project so far. The foundation for project was laid by then Chief Minister S Bangarappa in 1992 and, the work began in 1999. On July 11, 2010 the then Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa inaugurated the project.

The state government has promised the Ministry of Water Resources that it will introduce gravity-based Micro Irrigation System in the existing command areas and set up GIS-based irrigation management system under both the projects.

The state has also assured the Centre that it will set up new Water Users’ Co-operative Societies (WUCS) and revive the existing WUCS in command areas.

Former external affairs minister S M Krishna said in Bangalore that he will soon meet the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on pending irrigation projects in the State.

According to a press release, Krishna said he will urge both the leaders to clear projects that need mandatory nod and, release funds necessary to implement them.

He said the Centre's decision to release funds for implementing Narayanapura left bank repair and extension works, Upper Tunga project and other important irrigation project proves the Congress-led UPA government's commitment for the State's development.

Krishna also thanked State’s Water Resources Minister M B Patil for releasing Rs 61.50 crore for taking up modernisation work of various canals in the Cauvery basin and urged him to utilise the funds from the Center for completing the project in time-bound manner.

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(Published 10 October 2013, 20:23 IST)

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