National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 309.09 crore to the Gujarat government under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) – XX for laying of sub-minors (underground pipelines) of aggregate length of 4,525 kilometres in command area of Phase I and II A of Sardar Sarovar project, a statement issued by NABARD said.
The project will be implemented by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited over a period of two years.
M K Mudgal, chief general manager, NABARD said that the project was sanctioned to ensure the benefit of irrigation system originating from Narmada main canal reaches all farmers. The project, spread over 11 districts of the state, is expected provide irrigation facilities to 175,790 hectares of cultivable command area benefitting around four lakh rural population in 2,000 villages.
The cumulative sanction of loan assistance under the fund to the state government since its inception in 1995-96 aggregated to Rs 14,432.63 crore against which an amount of Rs 11,829.79 crore has been utilized.
The length of the main canal is 458.318 km which has been completed. Out of the planned 74,622 km network of branch canals, distributaries and minor canals, around 25,000 km (or nearly 34 per cent) has been completed so far. According to state government sources, the remaining 66 per cent of canal network, which is necessary to bring water to farmers’ fields is to be completed. The branch network is 90 per cent complete, while only 21 per cent of the distributaries and 34 per cent of minor canal network, have been completed. Once completed (with dam height 138.68 meters) the water from the dam will be used to irrigate 1.905 million hectares land including 1.8 million hectares in Gujarat benefitting nearly one million farmers. As per the project plan it will also provide drinking water to 9,633 villages and 131 towns of Gujarat benefiting 29 million people.
NABARD also sanctioned a loan of Rs 450.36 crore under Warehouse Infrastructure Fund to the state. The project envisages construction of new warehouses and related infrastructure at 55 locations in 19 districts of the state for creating additional storage capacity of 443,500 MT.
The godowns constructed under the project would be utilised for storing agricultural commodities, seeds and fertilizers with different capacities and Gujarat State Agriculture and Co-operation Department would be implementing the project through Gujarat State Seed Corporation Ltd.