23 irrigation projects to be completed by March 2017

By: | Published: March 7, 2016 1:55 AM

With the finance minister Arun Jaitley’s thrust on fast-tracking of projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), 23 incomplete projects are expected to be commissioned by the end of next fiscal that would bring an additional irrigation infrastructure of 1.3 million hectare.

While acknowledging implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which have been languishing for years, Jaitley in his Budget speech had said, “we will ensure that 23 of these projects are completed before March 31, 2017”.While acknowledging implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which have been languishing for years, Jaitley in his Budget speech had said, “we will ensure that 23 of these projects are completed before March 31, 2017”.

With the finance minister Arun Jaitley’s thrust on fast-tracking of projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), 23 incomplete projects are expected to be commissioned by the end of next fiscal that would bring an additional irrigation infrastructure of 1.3 million hectare.

According to water resources ministry data, the states where these irrigation projects are being implemented include Assam (2), Jammu and Kashmir (3), Karnataka (2), Madhya Pradesh (4), Maharashtra (7), Manipur (2), Odisha (1), Telangana (1) and Rajasthan (1).

Official sources told FE that out of 23 projects only a couple of projects have issues relating to land acquisition which has caused delay while there is no major bottlenecks in completion of these projects.

Officials said that more than 63% of the works in these 23 irrigation projects have been completed and the Centre will allocate funds for completion of projects by March 2017. Out of total irrigation capacity of 1.3 million hectare of these projects, 8.6 lakh hectare have been already created while remaining 4.6 lakh hectare will be created by end of next fiscal.

For the pending 66 AIBP projects, the sources said that the funds are likely to be made available by market borrowings through tripartite agreement between borrower agency, water resources ministry and state government.

While acknowledging implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which have been languishing for years, Jaitley in his Budget speech had said, “we will ensure that 23 of these projects are completed before March 31, 2017,”.

Jaitley had said that for completing pending irrigation projects a total provision of Rs 12,517 crore has been made through budgetary support and market borrowings in 2016-17. From an allocation of Rs 5,300 crore for Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana in the current fiscal, Jaitely has made a provision of Rs 5,717 crore for 2016-17.

AIBP was launched in 1996-97 for providing central assistance to major or medium irrigation projects. Priorities were also given to those projects which were in tribal and drought-prone areas. As per the government norm, irrigation projects are classified as major covering cultivable command area of more than 10,000 hectare, medium with coverage of between 2,000 and 10,000 hectare, and minor with a capacity of below 2,000 hectare. Most of these 23 projects fall in major category.

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