Repairs to all the minor irrigation tanks would be undertaken on a war-footing now, as Rs. 600 crore was available to his department under NREGA Scheme

The government has taken a policy decision not to take up any more minor irrigation projects and instead streamline and strengthen the existing ones so that the farmers of their ayacuts will get better service.

Announcing this to reporters after discussions with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Monday, Minor Irrigation Minister T. G. Venkatesh said the efficiency of the existing minor irrigation tanks would be improved by way of de-silting and clearing of weeds and the ayacut under them doubled to 40 lakh acres in two years. The estimated potential of the minor irrigation tanks is 55 lakh acres.

Repair works

As part of the programme, the details of 20,000 out of 65,000 tanks would be displayed on the net for the present.

Referring to a promise made by the Chief Minister at the meeting that there was no dearth of funds, he said repairs to all the minor irrigation tanks would be undertaken on a war-footing now, as Rs. 600 crore was available to his department under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He said all the vacancies of engineers and other posts in his department would be filled soon through regular recruitment.

Extension centres

Three extension centres of Water Land Management & Training Research Institute (WALAMTARI) would be set up in each district to train farmers on optimum utilisation of the available water and on opting modern techniques of cultivation.

An official press note said that the Chief Minister instructed officials to undertake repairs to at least one-thirds of the total number of minor irrigation tanks annually. A Rs 1,137-crore JICA-aided AP Irrigation and Livelihood Improvement Project had been launched to construct 55 minor irrigation projects and train water users’ associations.

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