|Minister for Irrigation T. Harish Rao recently requested the Centre to release the Central assistance of about ₹139 crore under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) for Bhima lift irrigation and SRSP Stage-II works.|
He made the request to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkar in New Delhi on Tuesday and also submitted a letter. Mr. Rao stated that the Central Water Commission had recommended an assistance of ₹107.49 crore for Bhima lift irrigation scheme and ₹31.34 crore for SRSP Stage-II assistance under AIBP.
In the letter addressed to the Union Minister, Mr. Harish Rao explained that works on both the projects were progressing at a brisk pace, and the State Government was committed to completing them within stipulated time.
Assistance from the Centre would facilitate the State Government completing the projects in time, he said.
Similarly, he requested the Union Minister to extend time for completion of works under the National Project for Repair, Renovation & Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies-II, to release funds for 147 tanks already considered under the second batch of RRR-III, to consider all 267 tanks proposed by the State for Central assistance under third batch of RRR-III and to release funds accordingly.
He explained that the restoration of 147 water bodies was proposed at a cost of ₹167.71 crore and that of 267 water bodies with ₹187.69 crore Central assistance. However, the Centre had agreed to consider only 70 water bodies with a cost of ₹50.52 crore and denied funds for the remaining on the grounds that the water bodies at an estimated cost of more than ₹1 lakh per hectare would not be considered.
Mr. Harish Rao pointed out that as per the scheme guidelines the ₹1 lakh per hectare criterion was only to bridge the gap ayacut but the works proposed by Telangana were also for stabilising the existing ayacut and the total command area of the water bodies could not be developed under the norm.