Shortage of funds stalls reservoir renovation – The New Indian Express


Express press service

CHENNAI: Renovation and rehabilitation of many reservoirs and anicuts remains stalled due to the failure of the World Bank (WB) to approve funds for the TN Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project.

According to an official source, as part of the fourth phase of the project, the Water Resources Department (WRD) planned to rejuvenate the reservoirs, anicuts and artificial recharge wells in the water expansion area of ​​10 basins, including Cauvery belts. To this end, it has prepared 10 detailed project reports and sent them to the World Bank for approval in 2020. The funds have not yet been granted, however.

“The work would have been completed had it started last year and TN would have been better placed to weather the monsoon. Now, although we received over 100 billion cubic feet of water in the last two months from Karnataka, we could not store more than we could last year because we could not increase storage” , said the official, adding that it would be possible to store water up to the end of the Cauvery if TN had built more canals and renovated reservoirs, anicuts and artificial recharge wells.

Another issue also weighs on the project. According to another senior WRD official, members of the Central Ground Water Board had not yet completed their mandatory visits to the 10 sites. This too would affect the allocation of funds.

“Given these issues, the TN government should release funds to begin work and apply for a loan from the World Bank later,” the official said. The irrigated agriculture modernization project was planned in 66 sub-basins of the state to benefit 5.43 lakh hectares over a period of seven years, starting from 2018, with an expenditure of Rs 2,962 crore.

The project would involve 4,778 tanks and 477 anicuts. An administrative sanction was given for the rejuvenation of 2,550 reservoirs and 344 anicuts, and the construction of 95 artificial recharge wells under Phases I, II, III at Rs 1,582.93 crore. As of now, TN is preparing for Phase IV.

CHENNAI: Renovation and rehabilitation of many reservoirs and anicuts remains stalled due to the failure of the World Bank (WB) to approve funds for the TN Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project. According to an official source, as part of the fourth phase of the project, the Water Resources Department (WRD) planned to rejuvenate the reservoirs, anicuts and artificial recharge wells in the water expansion area of ​​10 basins, including Cauvery belts. To this end, it has prepared 10 detailed project reports and sent them to the World Bank for approval in 2020. The funds have not yet been granted, however. “The work would have been completed had it started last year and TN would have been better placed to weather the monsoon. Now, although we received over 100 billion cubic feet of water in the last two months from Karnataka, we could not store more than we could last year because we could not increase storage” , said the official, adding that it would be possible to store water up to the end of the Cauvery if TN had built more canals and renovated reservoirs, anicuts and artificial recharge wells. Another issue also weighs on the project. According to another senior WRD official, members of the Central Ground Water Board had not yet completed their mandatory visits to the 10 sites. This too would affect the allocation of funds. “Given these issues, the TN government should release funds to begin work and apply for a loan from the World Bank later,” the official said. The irrigated agriculture modernization project was planned in 66 sub-basins of the state to benefit 5.43 lakh hectares over a period of seven years, starting from 2018, with an expenditure of Rs 2,962 crore. The project would involve 4,778 tanks and 477 anicuts. An administrative sanction was given for the rejuvenation of 2,550 reservoirs and 344 anicuts, and the construction of 95 artificial recharge wells under Phases I, II, III at Rs 1,582.93 crore. As of now, TN is preparing for Phase IV.

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