Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti announced today the release of first installment of Rs. 1500 crore to the states as central assistance for 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP). This amount has been released for 50 projects in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today the Minister said today is historic day for AIBP as it will mark a new beginning for these projects. She said total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at Rs.77595 crore (Rs.48546 crore for project works and Rs.29049 crore for CAD works) with estimated CA of Rs.31342 crore. Likely potential utilization through these projects is estimated to be 76.03 lakh hectare (Lakh ha). Sushri Bharti said accordingly a proposal was made for providing Central Assistance and State share for above mentioned 99 projects through NABARD. The Minister said these projects will cover all most all drought prone districts of 18 States of country and will also go a long way to contain the incident of suicide by farmers. She expressed the hope that with regular monitoring the speedy implementation, the Government would be able to complete all the 99 projects well ahead of the schedule.
The Finance Minister in his budget speech of 2016 had announced for creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs. 20,000 crore and an amount of Rs.12517 crore was provided as budgetary resources and market borrowings during 2016-17.
The Union Cabinet on July 27, 2016 had approved establishment of the Mission to ensure completion of 99 prioritized projects in phases by December 2019 including Command Area Development and Water Management (CAD&WM). The arrangement of funds for Central share/Assistance (CA) has been made by taking loan from NABARD as per year-wise requirements which could be paid back in 15 years’ time keeping a grace period of three years. Further, the State Governments, if required, may borrow funds from NABARD for the States Share.
Central Government launched the AIBP in the year 1996-97 to provide Central Assistance to major/medium irrigation projects in the country, with the objective to accelerate implementation of such projects which were beyond resource capability of the States or were in advanced stage of completion. Priority was given to those projects which were started in Pre-Fifth and Fifth Plan period and also to those which were benefiting Tribal and Drought Prone Areas. From the year 1999-2000 onwards, Central Loan Assistance under AIBP was also extended to minor surface irrigation projects (SMI) of special category States (N.E. States & Hilly States of H. P., Sikkim, J&K, Uttaranchal and projects benefiting KBK districts of Orissa). Since its inception, 297 Irrigation / Multi Purpose Projects have been included for funding under AIBP. Out of this 143 projects have been completed and 5 projects were foreclosed. An irrigation potential of 24.39 Lakh ha. has been created through these projects. The cumulative Central Loan Assistance / Grant provided to States under AIBP to all of above project till March 31, 2015 was Rs. 67539.52 crore. Twenty five States got benefited from the programme.
During 2015-16, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was launched with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices etc. Major and medium irrigation/multipurpose irrigation projects are being funded under PMKSY-AIBP and Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies, Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI) projects and CAD&WM projects are being funded under PMKSY-Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP). During 2015-16, Central Assistance of Rs. 2327.82 crore was released for projects under AIBP and CA of Rs. 1905.81 crore was released for projects under CADWM, SMI and RRR of water bodies together. Total CA of Rs 4233.63 crore was released during 2015-16 for PMKSY (AIBP+HKKP)
The issues related to implementation of projects under PMKSY-HKKP including prioritization of projects were deliberated in the Committee headed by Shri Brijmohan Agrawal, Minister (Water Resources) of Chhattisgarh. As per the information supplied by concerned States to the Committee, 99 projects have been identified for completion upto 2019-20. 23 projects (Priority-I) have been identified to be completed by 2016-17 and another 31 projects (Priority-II) have been identified to be completed by 2017-18. The balance 45 projects (Priority-III) have been identified to be completed by December 2019.
One of the major reasons for the projects to remain incomplete was inadequate provision of funds by the concerned State Governments. As a result, large amount of funds spent on these projects were locked up and the benefits envisaged at the time of formulation of the projects could not be achieved. This was a cause for concern and initiative was required at the national level to remedy the situation.
A Mission has been established vide order dt September 07, 2016 with the Officer on Special Duty in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) as the Mission Director for completion of the identified 99 projects including development of their command area. Mission would be responsible for overall coordination and outcome focused monitoring of all components of PMKSY for achieving its targets.
A Council headed by CEO, NITI Aayog and having Secretary(WR, RD & GR), Secretary (A&C), Secretary (RD) and Secretary(Finance), Chairman, NABARD as members, has been established vide order dated September 07, 2016 which shall look after the overall implementation of works and policy matters. Chief Secretaries (or their representative) of the States having large number of projects to be completed under this programme i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana shall also be members. Further, one of Chief Secretaries (or his representative) from rest of the States implementing projects, under this programme, shall also be a member by rotation. The Mission Director would be the Member Secretary of the Council. The Council shall be responsible for overall implementation of project works, coordination and monitoring in a manner so as to complete identified 99 projects as per targets. The Council would be responsible for overall supervision of the Mission to achieve it’s objectives and shall also undertake monitoring and course correction, where required during implementation.
A High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) comprising Finance Minister, Minister (WR, RD & GR), Minister of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare, Minister of Rural Development, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog has also been constituted vide order dt September 07, 2016 which would review the progress of the identified 99 projects and other components under PMKSY and also provide policy guidance for mid-term course correction.
Further, online monitoring as well as physical monitoring at various levels including third party monitoring has been contemplated for ensuring completion of these projects as planned. Expression of Interest (EOI) has already been sought for finalizing the agency in this regard. A MIS system and mobile based application being prepared in this regard in consultation with NITI Aayog is in advance stage of development.