NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur district on Saturday and inaugurate the Saryu Nahar National Project which will provide assured water for irrigation of over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of the region, his office said.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said the project has been built at a total cost of over Rs 9,800 crore, out of which more than Rs 4,600 crore was provisioned in the last four years. Taking a swipe at earlier dispensations, Modi said the work on the project had begun in 1978 but was never completed before his government took measures to complete it.
You would be shocked to know that work on the Saryu Nahar National Project began in 1978 but for decades, the project was never completed. Costs increased and so did people’s woes.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2021
A project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years.
He tweeted, "You would be shocked to know that work on the Saryu Nahar National Project began in 1978 but for decades, the project was never completed. Costs increased and so did people's woes. A project that was incomplete for four decades has been finished in four years."
The project involves interlinking of five rivers -- Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga and Rohini -- to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region. "I would be in Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh tomorrow, 11th December for a very special programme -- inauguration of the Saryu Nahar National Project. This project will solve irrigation related problems in Eastern UP and help our hardworking farmers," Modi said.
The work on the project started in 1978 but due to lack of continuity of budgetary support, interdepartmental coordination and adequate monitoring, it got delayed and was not completed even after nearly four decades, the PMO said.
The prime minister's vision for farmer welfare and empowerment and his commitment to prioritise long-pending projects of national importance brought much needed focus on the project, the statement said. "Consequently in 2016, the project was brought under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the target to complete it in a time-bound manner," the PMO said.
In this endeavour, innovative solutions were found for new land acquisition to construct new canals and fill the critical gaps in the project, and also for resolving the pending litigation related to the previous land acquisitions, it said.
The renewed focus has resulted in the project being completed in only about four years. The project will provide assured water for irrigation of over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of more than 6,200 villages, the PMO said.
The statement said that it will benefit nine districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, namely Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur and Maharajganj. The farmers of the region, who were the worst sufferers of the inordinate delay in the project, will now immensely benefit from the upgraded irrigation potential, it said.
It added that they will now be able to grow crops on a larger scale and maximise the agri-potential of the region.