New Delhi: The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has announced a Rs3,124 crore package for irrigation projects in Uttar Pradesh just ahead of elections in the state.
Two irrigation projects in Uttar Pradesh - the Sarayu Nahar Pariyojana and the Sharda Sahayak capacity restoration - will be national projects, according to an official release from the ministry of water resources. That makes them eligible for 90% funding by the central government.
The high-powered steering committee on national projects constituted by the water resources ministry cleared both these projects on Thursday. The total central contribution for these two projects is estimated at Rs 3,124 crore.
Work on the Sarayu Nahar Pariyojana project started in 1977-78 but could not be completed because of lack of funds, said the official release. Once finished, it will provide “an ultimate irrigation potential benefit” to 14.04 lakh hectares in the Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti, Sant Kabirnagar, Siddharth Nagar and Gorakhpur districts. The amount required for completion of the project is Rs 3,238 crore, of which Rs 2,915 crore will be provided by the union government. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2016.
The Sharda Sahayak Project is scheduled to be completed in two years and will irrigate 7.9 lakh hectares. The Centre will provide Rs 209 crore for the project, which will benefit the districts of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki, Raibarali, Pratapgarh, Faizabad, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Allahabad and Varanasi.
The Election Commission of India is set to announce dates for the UP election. The Congress, which once dominated the state’s politics, has been trying hard to revive its fortunes in the state under the leadership of party general secretary Rahul Gandhi