Long Term Irrigation Fund Current Affairs - 2019
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for the Mandal Dam Project on the North Koel River. The Mandal Dam Project would be boon for the states of Jharkhand and Bihar.
Mandal Dam Project
The features of the Mandal Dam project are:
- The Mandal Dam project will help around one lakh eleven thousand hectares of agricultural land in Jharkhand and Bihar to get irrigation facilities.
- 24 MW of electricity will also be produced.
- The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 months at the estimated cost of Rs. 1622.27 crores.
- 60 Per cent would be financed by the central government as a grant from Long-Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
- Remaining 40% will be borne by the States through loan financed by NABARD.
Why the project was stalled?
The construction of the Mandal Dam began in 1972 and continued till 1993. Later it was stalled over the concerns raised by the Bihar Forest Department.
The project threatens to submerge the portions of the Palamau Tiger Reserve and Betla National Park. The central government has now approved the ‘in principle’ for diversion of forest under Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) for the construction of Mandal Dam. The Central Government has set some conditions in this regard.
North Koel River
North Koel River originates on Ranchi plateau in Jharkhand and joins the Sone River, a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar in Jharkhand. The river meanders through the northern part of Betla National Park. The principal tributaries of the North Koel River are Auranga and the Amanat.
Union Government, NABARD and National Water Development Agency (NWDA) have signed revised Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for funding of central share of 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) through Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
The revised MoA will enable Ministry of Water Resources to release Central Assistance to prioritized projects under PMKSY as per requirements from time to time. For this, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance has modified certain existing mechanism of funding of these 99 projects under LTIF, with reference to source of funds, liability towards servicing of coupon on bonds, repayment pattern of loan and rate of interest on loan, etc.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
PMKSY was launched in July 2015 with overarching vision to ensure access to some means of protective irrigation for all agricultural farms in the country and to produce ‘per drop more crop’, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity. It was formulated by amalgamating earlier 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. It has outlay of Rs 50000 crore with implementation period of over five-year till April 2020.
Objectives of PMKSY
- Achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
- Expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (har khet ko pani).
- Enhance adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop).
- Improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water.
- Enhance recharge of aquifers.
- Introduce sustainable water conservation practices.