VIDC brings new 62,000 ha land under irrigation in Vid

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Nov 2017 10:08:11

Staff Reporter,

About 62,000 Ha of land was brought under irrigation in the region thanks to liberal release of finances from Central and State Government, stated Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC). This is a big achievement for the backward region of Vidarbha said VIDC’s Executive Director Avinash Surve, adding that new irrigation potential was created in a span of three years only.

With political power coming to Vidarbha in real sense, VIDC is backed by State and Centre and hence has now targeted completing seven mega projects in a span of next two to three years. The projects including ambitious Gosikhurd for which deadline of December 2020 is fixed but officials are pushing hard to complete the assignments before hand. The projects include Bawanthadi in Bhandara District, Khadakpurna in Buldana, Dongargaon in Chandrapur, Nimna Wardha in Wardha, Bembla in Yavatmal and Nimna Pedhi in Amrvati District, Surve informed at a press conference on Friday. “Money is no longer a problem and we have received clearances from State Government also and the only constraints are vacancies in middle level in the organisation for which recruitment drive is under way,” he added.

While Gosikhurd has been granted National Project status the rest six are categorised under “Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana” (earlier Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme so there is no shortage of funds. About 10 to 20 per cent of funds is grant while rest of the project cost is granted as loan to State from NABARD.“But among all that Gosikhurd is the one of the biggest and by next monsoon we are targeting reaching full storage capacity of 245.5 metres. The dam construction is complete while lift irrigation schemes Nerala is complete and Mokhabardi is nearing completion,” informed Surve.

To a query, Surve said, the project cost was revised thrice in its life time and now is pegged at Rs 11,141.13 crore. So far, Rs 11.024.13 crore have been utilised by VIDC, he added.Chief Engineers Arun Shende and G M Sheikh were also present at the press conference.ACB pressure delayed decision-making Avinash Surve claimed that the pressure of ongoing inquiry by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) delayed the decision-making as officials were wary and sat upon files. Now, all such factors are things of past and all projects at VIDC are fast tracked and on way to achieving the targeted irrigation potential.


‘Tenders re-issued, Gosikhurd LBC, RBC works to start soon’

The main focus of Gosikhurd is now on completing the balance work of Left and Right Bank Canals (LBC and RBC), although water has been already release from it during last Kharif season, ED Avinash Surve stated during the meet. Informing about the development, Surve said, following controversy, VIDC cancelled all the earlier 83 tenders and re-issued them. All of them have been awarded and work would start soon.

Main controversy surrounded the work done on LBC which led to bad name for the organisation, Surve admitted, but gave a clean chit to the contractor saying that the lining came apart due to black cotton soil whose characteristic is hard to overcome. Irrigation engineers have devised a new technique wherein before taking-up lining work the canal wall is blanketed with murrum which is left to hardened for a period one year. Now, the lining layer which is of just 3 cm thick would be applied.

“The distribution channels of Gosikhurd is also nearing completion and also the problem of rehabilitation is almost over, just 130 families needed to shifted to achieve full storage potential. Currently, we are able to store water upto height of 242 metres,” he informed. But lining work of entire LBC is to be taken by the same contractor albeit with new approach. Now, instead of directly applying thin concrete layer, the irrigation engineers have devised a new technique wherein now a thick murrum wall is created through pressure and left for hardening for one year period. And now lining work (it’s a 3 cm wall) would be done by earlier contractor who has been persuaded by the VIDC officials and the work would be completed by April next.


Ryots to get water by pipe direct to farms

VIDC has started exploring plan to provide piped water to farmers right at their farms to save cost on land acquisition. Informing about this development ED Avinash Surve said that it is possible only where gravitational force is available. VIDC has targeted providing irrigation to 1,56,000 Ha through piped irrigation. Surve said that 1 lakh Ha of farm land would be irrigated through pressurised pipe distribution system at Jigaon Irrigation Project in Buldana.

This would be done through 12 lift irrigation scheme (LIS) and similar experiment would also be provided in command area of Lower Wardha irrigation project and at five LIS of Gosikhurd. Also he said VIDC is exploring another project of solar power lift irrigation schemes so that the cost of power could be neutralised and ensure better returns to farmers. This would be done through net metering in partnership with MSEDCL means solar power generated would be exchanged.