The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a total of Rs.27 crore for repairing the sluices of Vaigai River at Viraganur Regulator and for rehabilitating Nilaiyur Canal.

A total of 22,755 hectares in Madurai district would benefit upon completion of these two projects. The Viraganur Regulator covered 18,541 ha., while Nilaiyur Canal reached out to 4,214 ha. The project involved reconstructing the collapsed distribution sluices, aprons and repairing the worn-out steel shutters across Vaigai at a cost of Rs.5 crore.

R. Shankar Narayan, NABARD Assistant General Manager, told The Hindu here on Tuesday that NABARD had sanctioned a loan of Rs.4.75 crore for this project under its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) – 16 to complete some of the critical incomplete projects in the district. The rest of the project cost would be borne by the State Government.

Another loan of Rs.22.33 crore would be given to the State Government to rehabilitate the Nilaiyur Canal and increase its capacity to feed extension channels. The State Government would contribute Rs.1.17 crore for this project whose total cost is Rs.23.5 crore. Both the projects would be executed by the Water Resource Organisation of the Public Works Department.

Further, he said, NABARD had sanctioned another Rs.1.32 crore to fund the construction of three bridges of vital importance. While the first bridge would cross Othakadai - P. Mettupatti Road, the second would cross Kottanathampatti – Kodukanpatti Road and the third, Kalappanpatti – Chennampatti Road.

In addition, NABARD was also going to take up two major district roads that would connect Melur in Madurai district to Tirupattur. These two roads would connect ten villages that house four marketing centres and two schools besides two hospitals. This road project alone is expected to generate non-recurring employment of 5.32 lakh man-days, he said.

Mr. Shankar Narayan said that the projects were sanctioned two weeks back by a Project Sanctioning Committee at NABARD's Head Office in Mumbai.

The projects carry a three year phasing period within, during which they should be completed without time and cost overruns.

NABARD officials would take up periodic monitoring.

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