The Centre has released Rs 1,981 crore as part of Central assistance to Polavaram Irrigation Project in Andhra Pradesh for construction of the multipurpose Polavaram dam linking Krishna and Godavari rivers. The government also released second trench of funds amounting 1,293 crore to the three states for completion of 99 prioritised irrigation projects in the country.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu hailed the Polavaram project as dream of his life. “This project will be completed by 2018 or latest before monsoon of 2019. Never in the history a project is going so fast,” said Naidu adding he has dedicated his Monday for Polavaram project. “The project will not only convert draught affected areas of AP into water sufficient areas but also provide water to the neighbouring states,” he added.
“We are committed to use flood water to solve the drought in the country,” said Uma Bharti. She was addressing the media after handing over a cheque of Rs 1,981 crore of Central assistance to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. On the occasion she also informed that the work on other river linking projects is going at a fast face.
“The last hurdle for the Ken Betwa River linking project is over as we have secured the environmental clearance. As soon as the funding pattern is approved by the Finance Ministry, the project will be launched,” she announced.
The project will connect two rivers Ken and Betwa which flow through Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and is aimed to solve the sufferings of the farmers in drought hit Bundelkhand region.
The cheques of Rs 830 crore and Rs 463 crores were handed over to Maharashtra and Gujarat government representatives. These projects are being funded by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) which has sanctioned Rs 35,322 crore under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
“The investment in irrigation and agriculture yield results soon in comparison to infrastructure project. These projects will benefit the farmers from the very next season,” said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu said the project was conceptualised in 1982 but only Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed the will power to make it a reality.