Staff Correspondent

NRBC has been completed up to the 95th km in first phase under Scheme A of Bachawat Award

The project irrigates 65,000 hectares of land as against the projected area of 84,000 hectares

Raichur: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has urged Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation Basavaraj Bommai to convene an urgent meeting of farmers in the Krishna Basin to review the situation under various irrigation projects.

Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, Chamarasa Malipatil, vice-president of the sangha, said the available irrigation potential under the Krishna Basin had been utilised properly, and all the five taluks in the district had been brought under irrigation network.

However, a portion of available water from the Tungabhadra and the Krishna was being wasted owing to lack of proper maintenance of the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) and the Narayanapura Right Bank Canal (NRBC) of the Upper Krishna Project, Mr. Malipatil said. The projects were expected to irrigate about 12 lakh acres of land in the district. But water from these projects did not reach the tail-end areas, denying irrigation to about 3 lakh acres, he said.

He said the NRBC had been completed up to the 95th km in the first phase of work under Scheme A of the Bachawat Award long ago. But the Government had neglected its maintenance, which had affected water supply to most of the tail-end regions in all its distributaries, he charged. The project was irrigating 65,000 hectares of land as against the projected 84,000 hectares. There was a need to improve the distributaries and their laterals to take the water up to the tail-end regions.

The Government had to take a firm decision to approve the second phase of the project to commence work on the remaining stretch of the NRBC (between the 95th km and the 157th km), which was expected to irrigate another 83,000 hectares of barren land in Raichur taluk, Mr. Malipatil said. On the pending proposal to modernise the TLBC, he said the Government, during its recent Cabinet meeting, had decided to implement the recommendations of an expert committee headed by H.S. Chiniwal and sanctioned Rs. 80 crore for the purpose.

Mr. Malipatil said the Government should first go into the details of the recommendations of the committee, which had suggested comprehensive modernisation by investing Rs.1, 200 crore in three years under the strict supervision of a team of experts constituted by an outside agency. In this regard, the Government should come out with a firm stand, he said.On the pending lift irrigation projects in the Krishna Basin, he alleged the Government had neglected the implementation of many such schemes in the district.