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PM seeks fast-tracking of irrigation scheme

With an aim to help farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked central departments and ministries to fast-track implementation of the rural irrigation scheme through a multi-pronged approach, including integrating it with MGNREGA.

Chairing a high-level meeting involving the ministries of agriculture, water resources, rural development, he said the ultimate goal of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana should be to provide irrigation to every farm. Tuesday’s meeting follows Monday’s decision by the Union Cabinet to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, which the government said was pro-farmer.

Noting that MGNREGA has been used over the past few years for creation and augmentation of irrigation assets, Modi said the scheme should be integrated with the overall plan of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, a PMO statement said.

He also called for precise monitoring of outcomes in this regard, it said. At the macro-level, the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Water Resources to identify river-interlinking projects that could be immediately taken up.

He also called for comprehensive mapping and identification of water bodies across the country for which satellite imagery and 3D photography could be used to guide villages to best possible sources of irrigation, it said.

Modi asked the departments concerned to look into the possibility of identifying progressive farmers, who could take the lead in implementing water conservation and innovative irrigation techniques.

He also called for integrating water recycling projects of key towns and cities with irrigation in nearby rural areas and emphasised on the importance of generating consciousness among people towards water conservation. Water resources Minister Uma Bharati and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh were present on the occasion.

The flagship programme to provide water to every field was announced by the union finance minister Arun Jaitley during his maiden budget speech soon after the formation of NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

A budget allocation of Rs 1,000 crore is being set aside for this scheme. The aim of this scheme is to provide assured irrigation to mitigate risk to the farmer since bulk of the farm lands are rainfed and depend on monsoon. This scheme would facilitate access to irrigation.


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