Asian Development Bank will provide USD 100 million loan (about Rs 670 crore) to India for irrigation projects, drainage system and water management at the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.
The fund will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes at the Cauvery river basin, ADB said in a statement.
The Cauvery river basin is a critical source of water for agriculture, both within Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring states.
A lack of investment over many years has left irrigation systems unable to meet user demand and increasingly vulnerable to floods and droughts, ADB said.
“The vast majority of the delta’s population is engaged in farming and fishing. They can no longer rely on availability of water for their livelihoods, and flooding is common during the erratic northeast monsoon,” said Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs.
Their plight may only worsen with climate change. The project aims to improve deteriorated infrastructure and will provide flood protection and renewed access to irrigation,” he said.
ADB said communities will be involved in planning and delivery of water services.
The project involves flood forecasting and warning systems installation, and a flood risks map will also be drawn up to help communities respond more effectively to extreme events.
The Resources Department of Tamil Nadu will be responsible for implementing the project. The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.
The loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term.
The Manila headquartered ADB, owned by 67 member nations of which 48 are from the Asian region, assisted loans worth USD 27.2 billion in 2015.