Efforts are on to make water available in the parched and rugged Bundelkhand region where the Uttar Pradesh government has set a target to set up 10,000 ponds under Khet Talab Yojana at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
“People of Bundelkhand will no longer be thirsty as the Yogi Adityanath government is trying diligently to ensure optimal use of every drop of water in the region through various projects, including sprinkler irrigation and Khet Talab Yojana. The state government plans to build 10,000 farm ponds at a cost of Rs 100 crore in the 2021-22 financial year. Government agencies have already dug 4,400 farm ponds at a cost of Rs 49.56 crore so far as part of the ‘Other Intervention’ component of its 'Per Drop More Crop' scheme. Most ponds have been constructed in Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions. Besides geo-tagging of these ponds, 50 per cent subsidy is given to the farmers through direct benefit transfer (DBT). Water saved in these ponds during the rainy season will be used for irrigation purposes and as drinking water for the cattle in the rest of the season,” a government spokesman said in Lucknow on Monday.
In this context, the Yogi government has been working on three sprinkler projects, including Masgaon Chilli (Hamirpur), Kulpahar (Mahoba) and Shahzad (Lalitpur) projects, as a model to irrigate more areas with less water.
“The projects are likely to be completed this year. There is also a plan to connect other irrigation projects with sprinklers later. The Arjun Sahayak Canal Project, which is going to be completed this year, will not only facilitate irrigation of 44,381 hectares of land in Banda, Hamirpur and Mahoba, but also make drinking water available to people,” the spokesman said.
According to an estimate, around 20 million cubic metre of drinking water will be available to the people of Mahoba. Aiming to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogans such as 'Per Drop, More Crop' and 'Water to Every Field’, the BJP government in the state has been intensively working on these projects since taking over four years ago.