NABARD on Monday said it has sanctioned Rs 735.53 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for West Bengal for facilitating the execution of 86 projects. They include six solar power, one medium irrigation, five minor irrigation and 12 flood protection projects, besides 57 projects for the widening and strengthening of roads and five rural bridges, according to a statement. According to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the entire loan amount was provided to the state at a concessional rate. Elaborating on the projects, the financial institution said the grid connected solar power projects would generate 88.61 MU of green energy per annum. The work on the irrigation projects is expected to benefit 11,554 hectares of land besides addressing the problems of water wastage in the upstream areas, seepage loss, deposition of silt and insufficient height of canal, which have been resulting in erratic and short supply of water in the command area. The flood protection measures were aimed at addressing the erosion of river banks and about 155 villages would benefit, it claimed. The widening and strengthening of 57 roads would facilitate 352.81 km in 14 districts and this would help the farmers to access agro inputs and markets for their agricultural produce along with other facilities. Rural bridges would lead to saving of 82 km distance, the statement added.