Funds push for project to benefit desert areas

Restructuring of Indira Gandhi Canal

February 15, 2018 07:13 am | Updated 07:13 am IST - JAIPUR

An irrigation channel fed by the Indira Gandhi Canal in Gharsana district of Rajasthan.

An irrigation channel fed by the Indira Gandhi Canal in Gharsana district of Rajasthan.

A new loan agreement for water sector is set to benefit the desert areas in Rajasthan through restructuring of Indira Gandhi Canal and formulation of flood management systems for the Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Ghaggar rivers.

The agreement with the New Development Bank, stipulating the release of ₹1,000 crore as first instalment of a loan worth ₹3,300 crore, was signed by Rajasthan Principal Irrigation Secretary Shikhar Agrawal, Joint Secretary in Union Finance Ministry Govind Mohan and an NDB representative in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Mr. Agrawal said the project to be undertaken by utilisation of the loan amount would facilitate usage of rainwater and floodwaters of the four rivers coming from Punjab, besides stopping the flow of excess water towards the India-Pakistan border. The loan amount of second phase will be released in April, followed by the release of subsequent instalments to match the project’s implementation.

The restructuring and repairing of Indira Gandhi Canal and its distributaries will help solve the problems of loss of water and water-locking in the agricultural fields. It will also ensure the supply of irrigation water to the farmers at the tail-ends of the Indira Gandhi Canal Project.

The project will benefit 10 districts in Rajasthan – Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Churu, Nagaur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Barmer. Mr. Agrawal said the issue of scarcity of clean drinking water in these districts would also be resolved to a significant extent with the help of the project.

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