Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, Sep 20: The World Bank-funded Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water Bodies Restoration and Management (IAMWARM) Project to improve irrigation service delivery and productivity of irrigated agriculture with effective integrated water resources management in river basin and sub-basin frame work in the state was launched in this district last evening.
Speaking at the launch, State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Durai Murugan said this was a first-of-its-kind project to be introduced in Tamil Nadu with funding from the Bretton Woods Institution.
He said the World Bank had sanctioned a loan of Rs 2,547 crore for the project.
In the first phase, the state government sanctioned Rs 399.26 crore to take up work on nine sub-basins divided into 71 clusters.
Mr Durai Murugan said the Paamparu, Kottakarayar and Manimutharu Sub Basins in the district were divided into 19 clusters under the project and irrigation service delivery would be developed in these areas at a cost of Rs 113 crore.
As many as 757 PWD tanks would be desilted and renovated benefitting 35,749.46 hectare of land in the district with irrigation facilities.
It was an integrated project involving Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Horticulture, Agriculture Engineering Departments and Agriculture Universities to improve the living condition of farmers.
These departments would assist in achieving goals such as availability of more funds for water, soil testing, cattle rearing, effective utilisation of water, marketing and farm techniques so that instead of focusing just on the improvement of water bodies, the agricultural productivity would also be increased.
The entire project had to be completed in the next six years.
The PWD Department would also form Irrigation Farmers Water Users Association to make them responsible for safeguarding the water bodies, he added.