Andhra Pradesh government will launch an ambitious scheme ‘Indira Jala Prabha’ on Gandhi Jayanthi day to bring 10 lakh acres of land belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) under irrigation.

A sum of Rs 1,600 crore will be spent under the new scheme that would benefit five lakh SC and ST families, the State government said today.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy discussed modalities of the scheme with Finance Minister Aanam Ramanarayana Reddy, Rural Development Minister D Manikya Varaprasad, Principal Secretary (Rural Development) R Subrahmanyam and other senior officials here on Saturday.

The scheme would be integrated with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme(MGNREGP) so as to draw 50 per cent of funds while the balance would be pooled from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, according to a press release from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Blocks of 10 acres would be identified in each village and Common Interest Groups formed with land owners to take up land development activity. So far, over 33,000 such blocks have been identified in 16,742 villages, the CMO said.

In all, the State government intends to develop irrigation facilities for 50 lakh acres under the MGNREGP, including 10 lakh acres under Indira Jala Prabha, so as to benefit 22 lakh families, it said.