40 years on, an irrigation project in Bihar is ready for inauguration
The cost of Ganga Pump Nahar Yojana (GPNY), an irrigation project initiated in 1977, has escalated to Rs 828 crore from the estimated Rs 13.77 crore.
The Ganga Pump Nahar Yojana (GPNY), an irrigation project conceived at Kahalgaon 40 years ago, is now ready for inauguration.
The irrigation project was designed to boost agriculture in a vast area of Kahalgaon subdivision of this district, 235 km east of Patna, besides adjoining areas of Jharkhand, by utilising water from river Ganga.
The cost of the project, initiated in 1977, has escalated to Rs 828 crore upon conclusion from the estimated Rs 13.77 crore .
Once commissioned, it will cater to agricultural needs of 27,603 hectares spread over Pirpainty, Sanhoula and Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district. The Jharkhand areas that will benefit from the new facility include Pathargama, Mahgama and Godda blocks of Godda district.
Lakshman Jha, superintending engineer (mechanical), water resource department (WRD), said nearly 1,000 cusec water would be drawn from the Ganga per minute to reach to different areas constituting the command area of GPYN. The water, released from a height of 44 feet by auto flow, would reach different areas through main and branch canals,” Jha said.
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Yogendra Malakar, executive engineer, WRD, said the main and branch canal water would reach Ishipur Barahait area in Pirpainty from Kahalgaon and further beyond to areas in Jharkhand before being discharged into river Geruwa that flows into river Ganga. However, a sizeable area was still to be connected through branch canals, he said.
Ram Lal Mandal, a farmer of Milki village of Kahalgaon subdivision, said the construction work of branch canals was in progress but water for irrigation would be available to farmers in select command area.
The area primarily relies on wheat, potato, chilli and vegetable crops. However, once the canal water flows as per potential, a whole culture of diversified agriculture will be encouraged.
The inauguration of GPYN by chief minister Nitish Kumar was tentatively planned this week, but has been deferred for now.