Vidya Stokes asks for Centre's approval for mini irrigation schemes in state

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2014 21:48 IST

Irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes on Thursday urged the Centre to approve 109 micro irrigation schemes for Rs338.82 crore which would facilitate 17,792 hectares of agricultural land.

Stokes said this while addressing a conference on 'Jal manthan' organised by union water resources ministry in New Delhi on Thursday.

She said these schemes would help increase irrigated land in the state. Out of a total of 5.83 lakh hectares of agricultural land, only 3.35 lakh hectares of land had been earmarked for irrigation.

She further said it would go a long way in resolving problems being faced in water resource projects particularly in hill states such as Himachal Pradesh.

She also said under accelerated irrigation benefit programme (AIBP), the work on one major, three medium and 407 small irrigation schemes had been completed. Irrigation facilities had been provided in 69,650 hectares of land with central assistance of Rs 650.14 crore.

Stokes said financial assistance on 90:10 basis under the flood control programme must be restored. She said 2.31 lakh hectares area of the state was prone to floods. The state had completed the second phase of channelisation of the Batta river in Sirmaur district and Swan river in Una district with the Centre's assistance of Rs 182.04 crore whereas the channelisation of Chhonch Khad in Kangra district was under progress.

The minister also said the amendment in financial assistance of 70:30 under the programme was not beneficial for special category states like HP. She said there was a minimum possibility of repair and maintenance of water reservoirs in the state as per the fixed norms and therefore the state was not able to get financial assistance from the Centre under this programme.

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