NITI Aayog has set a slew of targets for Yogi Adityanath government to to transform irrigation infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh. The targets include, commencement of the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project in 2017-18 and its completion within 6-7 years, completion of Bansagar Project and coverage of 10 lakh hectare area in the state under micro-irrigation by March 2018, completion of Arjun Sahayak project, Madhya Ganga Phase 2 project and Saryu Nahar Project under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) by December 2019, as per Indian Express report.
A joint working group (JWG) of NITI Aayog has prepared a detailed road map for the development of UP. A meeting in this regard was held on May 10 bewteen Chief Minister Adityanath and 17-member delegation led by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya. These targets are part of ‘Action Plan for Uttar Pradesh’ under which NITI Aayog has set up targets in several sectors. One of the key sectors is irrigation and water resources.
Of these targets in irrigation and water resources sector is Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project. The project is meant for diversion of surplus waters of Ken basin to water-deficit Betwa basin. The quantity of water proposed to be diverted from Ken basin, after considering basin demands and downstream commitments earmarked for providing irrigation in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is 1,020 million cubic meters, as Indian Express report.
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Last month, UP irrigation minister Dharm Pal Singh had said that the state government is taking a number of steps such as promotion micro-irrigation system to deal with water shortage in the state. Owing to shortage of water, the state government has decided to promote micro-irrigation system, he had said. “Instructions have been issued for cleaning ponds prior to rainy season to pave the way for bulk storage of water,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.