Rs 3,752-cr project to modernise UKP canals

The Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL) has drawn up an ambitious project involving the remodelling of the Narayanapura Left Bank Canal (NLBC) and the Network Extension, Renovation and Modernisation (ERM) programme of the Upper Krishna Project (UKP). 

The project, which is being taken up under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and the National Water Mission, is expected to cost a whopping Rs 3,752 crore.The cost of remodelling is high enough to go beyond the entire cost of the UKP itself, which includes two reservoirs at Almatti, Narayanapura and a huge network of main canals and distributaries, a retired engineer said. 

The miscellaneous costs of remodelling are said to be Rs 497.95 crore. The project proposals include remodelling of main canal of the NLBC and its branch canals like the Shahapur Branch Canal (SBC), Mudabal Branch Canal (MBC), Jewargi Branch Canal (JBC), Indi Branch Canal (IBC) and their distributary networks.

The ERM project will comprise features like telemetry and automation, planning of Geo Information System (GIS)-based irrigation management system, formation of new water users’ cooperative societies and revival of existing ones, providing soil/water health cards to farmers in the command area and land reclamation through surface drainage system.

Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge said that the project had been approved by the Union Ministry of Water Resources and the Planning Commission for financial assistance. The entire remodelling and improvement are expected to be completed in three years. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his budget speech for 2014-15, said that the proposal had been submitted to the Centre for financial assistance.

The NLBC is an integral component of the UKP which has been designed to carry 10,000 cusecs of water to irrigate 4.5 lakh hectares in the drought-prone districts of Gulbarga, Yadgir and Bijapur. 

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