New Delhi (NVI): In a vital move that is expected to go a long way in improving sustainable water security and irrigation efficiency in Karnataka, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government today signed an agreement for the second project loan of about $91 million.
This loan agreement will pave way for modernisation of the Vijayanagara Channel irrigation systems, and concretise river basin management plans in the Krishna river basin.
The investment program consists of two project loans that will help Karnataka’s water agencies to roll out better and effective river basin management plans. The first will help the modernization of the Gondi irrigation system and supporting the state by preparing a new water resources policy and other water governance strengthening activities, said an official statement.
The project interventions are also tackling inefficient water use in agriculture that accounts for over 84% of the state’s total water use. This will improve water availability to meet the rising demand from other users in the state.
“About 30 water user cooperative societies will also be established and strengthened for improving their farmer irrigation canals under the second project. Improving irrigation efficiency under the investment program is expected to generate water savings of 1,700 million cubic meters for use on an additional 160,000 hectares of farmland. Annual farm incomes are also projected to rise by as much as 50% for some marginal households as a result of increased crop production, and about 1.5 million people could benefit overall,” the statement added.
Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed the second project loan for the Karnataka Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Program (IWRM).
“The investment program will help Government of Karnataka in strengthening its institutions involved in integrated water resource management and modernizing the irrigation system infrastructure for improving water use efficiency in the State,” said Sameer Khare after signing the loan documents.
“This second project loan will continue to strengthen state and basin institutions for IWRM and finance the modernization of Vijayanagara Channels by upgrading headworks and about 442 kilometers of main, distributaries and minor canals,” Kenichi Yokoyama said.