BHUBANESWAR: As the political scenario hots up ahead of 2019 elections with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to visit Odisha twice in January, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday countered the statement of Modi that the State Government has failed to create additional irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare as promised by BJD in its 2014 manifesto.
Shooting off a letter countering media reports attributed to the Prime Minister during his December 24 visit to Khurda which said that Odisha had created only 22,000 hectare of irrigation potential out of 10 lakh hectare promised in 2014, the Chief Minister said the State has created an additional irrigation potential of 7.8 lakh hectare and is on course to surpass the 10 lakh hectare target.
“I am happy to share that since 2014, Odisha has created an additional irrigation potential of 7.8 lakh hectare and we are on course to surpass the 10 lakh hectare target my Government has set for itself,” Naveen said in his letter to Modi.
The Chief Minister said Rs 26,889 crore has been spent in the irrigation and water sector with a contribution of Rs 1211 crore (4.5 per cent) from the Centre through Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)/Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) since 2014. “In fact, in the current year a record amount of Rs 10,196 crore has been provided by the State for the sector,” he said.
Stating that with the State Government programmes, 46 mega lift irrigation projects with ayacut area of 54,472 ha, 53576 deep bore wells with ayacut of 2,67,880 ha, 5837 community lift points with ayacut of 1,29,764 ha, 8335 check dams with ayacut of 97,694 ha have been created and farmers are physically getting water from these projects, the Chief Minister said the detailed information on creation of irrigation potential from April, 2014 to November, 2014 is also available in the State Government’s website.
Naveen, however, said the State will render all support for speedy completion of the projects for foundation stones laid by the Prime Minister during his December 24 visit. “Odisha is amongst the top States in the country in investment on irrigation as well as creation of irrigation potential,” Naveen said and sought the Prime Minister’s support for Odisha and its people.