March 2007 deadline unlikely to be met
BIJAPUR: On the occasion of formal dedication of the Upper Krishna Project (UKP) at Alamatti on August 21, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy announced that the Government was committed to completing the remaining work by March 2007.
But the target is unlikely to be met, according to sources in Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. (KBJNL), a government undertaking responsible for the project.
The Bachawat Tribunal allocated 734 tmcft of Krishna waters to the State. Of this, the State earmarked 173 tmcft water for the UKP to irrigate 6.22 lakh hectares in Bijapur, Bagalkot, Gulbarga and Raichur districts. The sources told The Hindu that the irrigation potential created so far was a little over 5.5 lakh hectares, and it was impossible to cover the remaining area (about 70,000 hectares) in five months.
The UKP includes canal systems such as Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NLBC), Narayanpur Right Bank Canal (NRBC), Shahapur Branch Canal (SBC), Mudbal Branch Canal (MBC), Jewargi Branch Canal (JBC), Indi Branch Canal (IBC), Alamatti Left Bank Canal (ALBC), Alamatti Right Bank Canal (ARBC), Mulwad Lift Irrigation Scheme (MLIS), Rampur Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) and Indi Lift Irrigation Scheme (ILIS).
Work on the NLBC, the NRBC, the IBC, the SBC, the BMC, the JBC and the ALBC is almost over. Planned irrigation under these schemes is 5.13 lakh hectares, and so far nearly 5 lakh hectares has been covered.
Much remains to be done with regard to the remaining canal systems. The MLIS is meant to irrigate 30,850 hectares, but the irrigation potential created is about 10,000 hectares. With regard to the ARBC, an irrigation potential of 6,650 hectares has been created out of the targeted 16,100 hectares. Once completed, the RLIS will irrigate 20,235 hectares, and the potential created so far is 16,500 hectares.
The ILIS is meant to irrigate 41,900 hectares, and the 97-km-long main canal is ready. The construction of distributaries is almost over though work on feeder channels is yet to be executed.
However, according to sources, water can be supplied to over 16,300 hectares right now provided the pumps are installed.
The estimated cost of all these canal systems is Rs. 4586.85 crore, and the expenditure incurred till the end of the first quarter of the current financial year is Rs. 4,133.28 crore.
The UKP also includes a rehabilitation component and construction of the Alamatti and Narayanpur dams.
The Government has so far spent a little over Rs. 2,440 crore on rehabilitation work that needs, according to a revised estimate, Rs. 2599.69 crore. A sum of Rs. 50.48 crore was spent on the Narayanpur dam, which was commissioned in the early 1980s. However, the estimated cost of the Alamatti dam and its allied works is Rs. 2,242.57 crore and the expenditure so far is over Rs. 2,125 crore.