August 2, 2014
Rs 500 crore sanctioned for irrigation projects in Jangalmahal
West Bengal government has sanctioned Rs 500 crore to implement an irrigation project in the three Jangalmahal districts and in Birbhum where rain water will be preserved and new ponds and canals will be dug up for irrigation purposes. The project has been approved in the state cabinet meeting and the state has already submitted a detail project report to the Centre.
The project was recently discussed where senior officials of several departments including irrigation, forest, panchayat and PWD department were present. It has been planned that the departments concerned will be coordinating with each other to supervise and monitor work in the districts of Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore and Birbhum.
The project entails having a number of ponds and canals to be dug up for storing rainwater. This will also help in rain water harvesting in the areas. State water resource investigation and development and minor irrigation department minister Mr Soumen Mahapatra said that they have started working on the project. The prime objective of this project is to preserve rainwater that would be used for irrigation and farming purpose. This would immensely benefit the small and marginalised farmers of the areas, he said, adding that a number of detail project reports have been prepared for the purpose.
Around 17 lakh hectare of land is available in the Jangalmahal districts area where agriculture activities could take place but presently only about eight lakh hectares of land is now being cultivated in the areas. Water for irrigation is not available in a vast area as agriculture activities are often affected due to shortage of water. Farmers of the rest of the cultivated land now purchase water from several sources as they do not get irrigation water for farming activities. Farmers will be able to cultivate around 50,000 acres of land once the project is implemented.