World Bank-funded water project begins in UP

Lucknow, Jan 16: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Thursday inaugurated the Rs.3,090 crore second phase of a World Bank-funded water sector restructuring project, in which 16 districts will be connected through canal systems.

Yadav thanked World Bank officials for having expedited the necessary clearances for the project and said his government was committed to the welfare of farmers.

He said the Samajwadi Party government was the only one in the country to provide free irrigation to farmers.

Irrigation Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav said that in the brief tenure of 18 months, the Ban Sagar project, which started in 1973, was completed and that after the execution of the project, farmers in Allahabad and Mirzapur were getting the benefits.

The minister said work has also started on incomplete canals and dams in Bundelkhand region.

In the next three years, Rs.4,468 crore would be spent and there would be an increase of 2,25,584 hectares of irrigated land in the state, he said.

World Bank country director Onno Ruhl said the project will help farmers increase their agriculture produce and also help in ending poverty.

Under the second phase of the project, 16 districts have been selected on the route of various canal systems. These are Etah, Firozabad, Farrukhabad, Kasganj, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Auraiyya, Kanpur rural, Kanpur city, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Amethi, Rae Barelli, Barabanki and Lalitpur.