Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti today announced that last hurdle for Ken Betwa river link project is over. Addressing a function in New Delhi today the Minister said wild life board has cleared the project and after deciding its funding pattern the formal construction work will start.

The Minister handed over a cheque of Rs. 1981 crore issued by NABARD to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri N Chandrababu Naidu for Polavaram irrigation project. Speaking on the occasion she said government has declared it as a national project and all future expenditure on it will be borne by the centre. The Minister said all irrigation projects under PMKSY and AIBP including Polavaram will completed by the year 2019. This will help in irrigating additional 80 Lakh hct. agricultural land.

Sushri Bharti also handed over a cheque of Rs. 830 crore issued by NABARD to irrigation Minister of Maharashtra Shri Gireesh Dattatreya Mahajan and a cheque of Rs. 463 crore to the Deputy Chief Minister and Irrigation Minister of Gujarat Shri Nitin Bhai Patel as financial assistance for various irrigation projects. The Minister said 26 irrigation projects of Maharashtra will be completed by the year 2018. Most of these are in drought prone districts of the State.

Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely, Union Urban Development Minister Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri N Chandrababu Naidu and Union Minister for State Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Vijay Goel also spoke on the occasion.

The issues related to implementation of projects under PMKSY-AIBP including prioritization of projects were deliberated in the Committee headed by Shri Brijmohan Agrawal, Minister (Water Resources) of Chhattisgarh. As per the information supplied by concerned States to the Committee, 99 projects were identified for completion upto 2019-20. 23 projects (Priority-I) have been identified to be completed by 2016-17 and another 31 projects (Priority-II) have been identified to be completed by 2017-18. The balance 45 projects (Priority-III) have been identified to be completed by December 2019.

Total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at Rs.77595 crore (Rs.48546 crore for project works and Rs.29049 crore for CAD works) with estimated Central Assistance of Rs.31342 crore.

The Finance Minister in his budget speech during 2016 has announced for creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs. 20,000 crore and an amount of Rs.12517 crore has been provided as budgetary resources and market borrowings during 2016-17.

Keeping in view of the budgetary constraints, it was decided to borrow Central share/Assistance (CA) from NABARD as per year-wise requirements which could be paid back in 15 years’ time keeping a grace period of 3 years. Further, the proposal envisages that the State Governments, if required, may borrow funds from NABARD for the State Share.

Polavaram Project (also known as Indira Sagar (Polavaram) Project is a multi-purpose project with an assessed Cultural Command Area of 2.91 lakh hectares and power generation potential of 960 Mega Watt(MW) . It also has a provision for supply of 23.44 thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) water as drinking water supply to Vishakhapatnam city and other areas, as also industrial water supply to Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant. An inter basin transfer of 80 TMC water annually to Krishna River Basin is also envisaged.

The project was accorded investment clearance by the Planning Commission for Rs 10151.04 cr (at 2005-06 price level) in 2009. The current cost at 2010-11 level is Rs.16010.45 crore. The project was under construction with Central Assistance under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP). An expenditure of Rs 5135.87 crore has been incurred upto 31.03.2014 including Central Assistance of Rs 562.469 crore provided under AIBP.

After declaration of the Polavaram project as National Project in the Year 2014, Rs 950 crore has already been released to Polavaram Project Authority till date. To meet the balance expected current year’s liability of Rs 2981.54 crore as reported by the State Government, arrangement of funds from NABARD has been made. Out of above balance expected current year’s liability of Rs 2981.54 crore an amount of Rs. 1981.54 crore was released today.

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