Irrigation Current Affairs

Cabinet approves raising Rs. 9020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for raising Extra Budgetary Resources of up to Rs, 9,020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) during the financial year 2017-18.

The funds will be raised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) through the issuance of Bonds at 6% per annum as per requirement. 

Utilization of Funds

The LTIF will be for the implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works of 99 ongoing prioritised irrigation projects along with their command area development (CAD) works under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

Background

Large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under the AIBP were languishing mainly due to inadequate provision of funds. To cater to the large fund requirement and ensure completion of these projects, the Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech 2016-17, had announced creation of dedicated LTIF in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore for funding identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD). The corpus of LTIF was to be raised through budgetary resources and market borrowings to fast track implementation of incomplete major & medium irrigation projects.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. AIBP, Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). It is implemented by Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development.

Objectives of PMKSY: (i) Achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, (ii) Expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (har khet ko pani), (iii) Enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop), (iv) Improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, (v) Enhance recharge of aquifers and (vi) Introduce sustainable water conservation practices.

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Union Government planning to fast-track irrigation projects in Indus basin

The Union Government is planning to fast-track four projects in Indus river basin to increase irrigation area in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by nearly 2.05 lakh acres.

This decision was taken after India had decided to exploit to the maximum the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab as per Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Key Facts

Three projects Prakachik Khows Canal in Kargil, Tral Irrigation Project in Pulwama and restoration and modernisation of main Ravi Canal in Jammu’s Sambha and Kathua are expected to be completed by this fiscal. The fourth project of Rajpora Lift Irrigation is planned will be completed by December 2019.

While the first three projects will help irrigate around 1.45 lakh acres of land, the Rajpora Lift Irrigation is expected to help irrigat around 59,305 acres of land. The funds for these projects will be raised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Background

These projects are part of the Union Government’s efforts to irrigate larger swaths across the country by completing small and medium 99 irrigation projects under ambitious Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKYS). Besides, earlier in September 2016, Union Government had decided to review the 56-year-old IWT in the aftermath of the Uri attack, asserting that “blood and water cannot flow together.”

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY): It was launched by the Union Government with an aim to enhance physical access to water on farm. It also seeks to expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on-farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices, etc through major and minor irrigation projects.

Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP): It was launched in 1996-97 to provide central assistance to major and minor irrigation projects in the country. It main objective is to accelerate implementation of such major and minor irrigation projects. Since its inception, 143 projects have been completed under AIBP.

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