The Union government has decided to restart the North Koel Irrigation project that was thought of nearly 40 years ago. The project will aim to address the water requirements in Bihar and Jharkhand. The decision was announced by the Union Minister for Water Resources, Uma Bharti during the launch of management information system (MIS) that will monitor the projects undertaken under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKYS).
According to the Union Minister, the North Koel Irrigation project after completion is expected to irrigate almost 1 lakh hectares of land in both the states combined. It is estimated to cost around Rs 1600 Cr. The Minister further added by saying that from irrigation point of view Jharkhand is the most backward state and PM Narendra Modi has initiated the revival of the project to eradicate poverty and backwardness of the common people in the state.
According to K Vohra, one of the main commissioners of the Jharkhand project, out of the total cost, the Centre would be financing about Rs 1000 crore. Besides this, the Union ministry has also identified other places including Marathwada in Maharashtra, Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh and Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput in Odisha to implement smaller irrigation schemes to eliminate water problems in the regions.
The ministry also held a meeting recently with officials belonging to 15 states that face acute water problems. Union Minister Bharti has also asked the Central Ground Water Board to undertake projects in order to identify and revive disappeared springs in the stretches between Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states.