The government Monday gave its approval to the revised estimate of Rs 4,959 crore for the Krishna-Koyna irrigation project. The project cost has been enhanced from Rs 1,982 crore (2000-2001) to Rs 4,959 crore. The proposal by the Ministry of Water Resources was approved in the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The decision to sanction additional Rs 2,977 crore for the completion of the project that was started around three decades ago aims to tackle the perennial drought-prone talukas in Sangli and Solapur district of western Maharashtra.
The allocation overrides the financial constraints in the wake of Rs 34,000-crore farm loan waiver.
The cost escalation is attributed to delay in execution, increased compensation for land acquired for the project, and widening the scope of work to bring more villages under its ambit. The project will bring 1,09,127 hectares of land under irrigation, providing 26 TMC water through Krishna-Koyna dams.
Minister for Water Resources Girish Mahajan said, “The project will put an end to the water scarcity problems in Khanapur, Tasgaon, Miraj, Kadegaon, Palus, Sanglola, Magalveda, and Kavthemahakal in Sangli and Solapur districts. Geographically, these are talukas that fall under rain-shadow areas and always face drought.”
The Krishna-Koyna project comprises two components — Takari lift irrigation and Mhaisal lift irrigation. While Mhaisal lift irrigation works would add 17.44 TMC water and bring 81,697 hectares under irrigation, Takari lift irrigation would help in making available 9.34 TMC water and bring 27,430 hectares under irrigation.
The project was first approved during the Congress government in 1982-83 at Rs 82 crore. The cost was revised to Rs 1,321 crore in 1995-96, and then to Rs 1,982 crore in 2000-01. The project in politically important as it comes under the region traditionally the stronghold of Congress and NCP in the last six decades. During the Congress-NCP government, there was a separate cabinet minister dedicated for the irrigation works under the Krishna Valley Development Corporation.