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Centre plans water conservation scheme for Bundelkhand, Odisha

New Delhi : The Centre has planned an extensive water conservation programme for several drought prone areas in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, most notably in the parched Bundelkhand region that straddles UP & MP.

The programme would focus on artificial recharge of groundwater as well as irrigation schemes in the states. Besides, Bundelkhand, the programme would look at drought prone areas of Marathwada in Maharashtra and Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput in Odisha.

The Union Water Resources Ministry said it has prepared a master plan for artificial recharge of groundwater in Bundelkhand region. In the water-starved region in Uttar Pradesh, around 1100 percolation tanks, 14000 small check dams or nala bunds and 7200 recharge pits or shafts have been identified.

In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, around 2000 percolation tanks, 55000 small check dams or nala bunds and 17000 recharge shafts have been identified.

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharti said as part of groundwater exploration, 234 wells in UP are proposed to be constructed in five districts of Bundelkhand -- Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Chitrakoot and Mahoba. Similarly, 259 wells in MP are proposed to be constructed in six districts of Bundelkhand.

The Ministry has taken up new initiatives under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes (NGMIS) with an objective to effectively improve groundwater conditions in stressed blocks, ensure sustainability of resource both quantitatively and qualitatively, participatory approach in groundwater management and institutional strengthening, said Bharti.

In Bundelkhand region of UP, six districts covering an area of 11851 sq km have been considered under this initiative. In Bundelkhand region of MP, five districts covering an area of 8319 sq km have been considered under this initiative.

The Water Resources Minister said an incentivisation plan for bridging irrigation gap (ISBIG) scheme is being prepared by the Ministry with an objective to complete CADWM works along with correction of system deficiencies in canal network for bridging the gap between irrigation potential created (IPC) and irrigation potential utilised (IPU). The scheme would also help in improving the water use efficiency in irrigation and providing assured supply of water to every farm field and transfer of control and management of irrigation system to the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs).

In Bundelkhand region of UP, Betwa and Gursarai canal, Rajghat canal, Ken canal system, Gunta Nala dam and Upper Rajghat canal with target to bridge 17,1030 hectare under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lalitpur and Banda districts in Bundelkhand region.

In MP, Rajghat canal project with target to bridge 68007 ha under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Tikamgarh and Datia districts.

In Marathwada, seven schemes with target to bridge 53365 ha gap between IPC and IPU is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Prabhani, Solapur and Osmanabad districts and involve an expenditure of Rs 250 crore.

An area of 3727 sq km in Marathwada is proposed to be covered under NGMIS involving an expenditure of about Rs 380 crore. Aquifer mapping of 9101 sq km of area in Marathwada has alredy been completed and management Plan of 7775 sq km has been submitted to the Maharashtra Government.

In Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput (KBK) region of Odisha, nine projects with target to cover 0.68 lakh ha of potential under the scheme to bridge the gap between IPC and IPU is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Malkangiri, Bolangir, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Bargarh districts of KBK region.

As many as 305 wells have been constructed in the region and 89 water bodies from KBK region with estimated cost of Rs 32 crore and targeted revival of irrigation potential of 5739 ha have been included for providing Central assistance under PMKSY.

These water bodies are part of cluster of 760 WBs in Odisha in which Central assistance of Rs 107 crore has been released including those in KBK region.

Out of the 99 ongoing major medium irrigation projects to be completed in phased manner by March 2019 under AIBP, four projects namely Lower Indra (KBK), Upper Indravati (KBK), RET irrigation and Telengiri shall benefit KBK region. The ultimate irrigation potential of these schemes is 1.44 lakh ha. During 2016-17, Rs 233 crore was released for these schemes under AIBP and CAD programmes.

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