Bihar eyes 779,000 hectares of irrigation potential under water for each agricultural scheme: minister

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The Bihar government is working to create irrigation potential on 779,000 hectares of land under its ambitious ‘Water to Every Farm’ programme, a key element of the ‘Seven Resolutions (Part 2)’ of the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the current regime, the state water resources minister said. Sanjay Kumar Jha told the Assembly on Wednesday.

Provide the government’s response to the budget request for 4,692.98 crores after a two-hour debate, Jha said the statewide technical survey was completed between January 18 and July 29, 2021 and projects were identified to increase the irrigation potential and ensure the water supply of each farm for the next four years. The budget was passed by voice vote after the opposition withdrew from the fingertips.

“The CM has been keen to rejuvenate lost water bodies and ensure optimal use of excess water in rivers during floods by diverting them to parched areas as part of the Water for Every Agriculture initiative. This involves the restoration of the traditional ‘ahaar-paen’, the interconnection of rivers, the construction of reservoirs and pipelines and much more. Work has already started on several projects and programs. A budget provision for the projects has already been made in the 2022-23 budget,” he said, adding that the goal is to create additional irrigation potential of 143,163 hectares in 2022-23 and restore the lost irrigation potential of 211,000 hectares.

The minister said his department was working on rejuvenation of dry rivers and inter-linking of small rivers, a new concept proposed by Bihar in place of inter-linking rivers, which will not only help in alleviating the floods, but also to irrigation. potential. “It is thanks to the efforts of Bihar that the National Water Development Authority (NWDA) has now been tasked to work on the interconnection of rivers as well. Bihar’s Bagmati-Ganga Link, Budhi Gandak Noon via Ganga Link and Bagmati-Budhi Gamdak Link schemes are under consideration by the central agency,” he said.

The Minister said that currently the state government is working with its own resources on the internal linking of the small rivers of Bagmati, Kamla and Kosi basin in North Bihar and Punpun, Basin of Keul-Harohar and small rivers in South Bihar. “The Belwa Dhar project in Sitamarhi involving the transfer of excess water from Bagmati to Budhi Gandak has already shown a lot of potential. This is the first intra-state link project and is expected to be completed this year. The Kosi-Mechi river link project is also progressing after obtaining all clearances from the Centre. It has been included in the national project, which will provide 60% funding for the Centre. However, we want it to be a Central-State split on a 90:10 basis and we have written in this regard, citing the Ken-Betwa project. The cost of the project was estimated at 4900 crore in 2016 and would go further. This will be a game changer for four Seemanchal districts of Purnia, Katihar, Kishanganj and Araria,” he said.

Jha said that the rubber dam project on the Falgu River, inaugurated by the CM on September 22, 2020, is nearing completion and once completed, it would ensure water availability throughout the entire river. year near the famous Vishnupad Temple, which attracts lakhs of devotees every year. “The government wants to complete it before Pitripaksh Mela and it is expected to be achieved by August 2022, although the expected deadline is October 2023. The “Ganga Jal Apoorti Yojana” under the ambitious “Jal-Jeevan” initiative -Hadiyali “for environmental protection is set to be completed by June this year despite being extended to include Nawada along with Gaya, Bodh Gaya and Rajgir,” he said.

Listing other major initiatives, Jha said the Western Kosi Canal Project would create an additional 265,000 hectares of irrigation potential in Darbhanga and Madhubani and is being expanded. “The work on the A 405 crore dam at Jaynagar has also started and is expected to be completed next year. Reinforcement works on the left and right banks of Kamla Balan are also in progress. This will save a large part of Mithila from the scourge of floods and create potential for irrigation,” he said.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is deputy editor of the Hindustan Times. He has spent two and a half decades covering Bihar, including political, educational and social issues.
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