The state government is planning to increase the ayacut to 40 lakh acres under minor irrigation tanks and lift irrigation schemes by 2014. The government would utilise Rs 1,000 crore from NREGS funds to augment the resources of minor irrigation tanks.
After a review meeting with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, minor irrigation minister T G Venkatesh said the actual potential under minor irrigation sector is 55 lakh acres, of which only 20 lakh acres are under irrigation.
“Instead of taking up new minor irrigation schemes, the state government has decided to streamline the existing schemes and double the ayacut in the next two years,” the minister said.
He said the chief minister had also agreed to fill vacant posts for engineers in the minor irrigation department. In the meeting, it has been decided that of the 66,000 minor irrigation tanks in the state, the information related to 20,000 tanks would be compiled and made available on the public domain.
“If the minor irrigation tanks get strengthened, the state could save on rain water,” the chief minister said during the review. He also directed the officials to utilise NREGS funds and strengthen tanks for every three to four years.
While referring to his assurance during Rachanbanda programme in Medak district, Kiran asked the officials to develop minor irrigation tanks in Medak with an estimated cost of `100 crores in phases. “A special package for minor irrigation development in the district covering all tanks would be soon sanctioned,” he said.