The Central government on Monday cleared a ₹2,000-crore Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project for the development of 19 medium irrigation water resources and 445 minor irrigation tanks to improve and stabilise an ayacut of 1,50,910 hectares (about 4 lakh acres) in all the 13 districts in the State.
Command Area Development Agency Special Commissioner P.S. Raghvaiah told the office bearers of the Irrigation Project and Distributary Committees here that he had received a letter from the Centre saying the CWC Technical Appraisal Committee (TAC) had approved the JICA project for the improvement of the Narayanapur Anicut (major project), 19 medium irrigation projects and 445 minor irrigation tanks.
Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao inaugurating the meeting said office bearers should not use the forum to complain about delay in payment of bills. He wanted them to share with one another the best practises and the innovative methods they used to surmount their problems.
Mr. Raghavaiah said the Centre had agreed to meet 90% of such externally aided projects as part of special package. The more the number of works, the higher the benefit.
The State was executing three externally aided projects for irrigation and agriculture, he said. The World Bank was extending ₹2,832 crore for the Water Sector Improvement Project in which various irrigation projects had been improved.
A survey found a 25% increase in productivity in the areas the project was executed, 50% increase in the horticulture crops, water took half the time it took to reach the tailend areas and no wastage of water was recorded. While the project should have been completed this year, the World Bank was extending it for two years.
The World Bank granted another loan both for the improvement of irrigation and also the agricultural income of the farmers through better marketing and development of required infrastructural facilities. The World Bank sanctioned a loan of ₹1,600 crore for the improvement of 994 minor irrigation tanks with an ayacut of ₹2.23 lakh acreas. While 50% would be spent on improving irrigation, the other 50% would be spent for development of infrastructure that would help farmers get a better price for their produce, Mr. Raghavaiah said.