Centre praises NE states for AIBP implementation

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Agartala, Jul 9 (UNI) The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has expressed satisfaction over the execution of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) for minor irrigation projects in North-eastern states, stating that irrigation coverage had increased in the region in past one decade.

In a recent report, the ministry said the cropping pattern in the North East had changed substantially due to the implementation of the AIBP, while multi-cropping was introduced. Similarly, irrigation benefits were extented to far-flung areas, leading to a decrease in slash and burn (Jhum) method and adoption of wet cultivation by farmers.

The state governments, implementing minor irrigation projects, had been urged to open the ''State Monitoring Cell'' to arrange field visits and review the performance of the AIBP schemes on regular basis. The Ministry of Water Resources had also requested the states to furnish the highlights of such scheme, said the report.

The Union government launched AIBP during 1996-97 for providing Central Loan Assistance (CLA) to the states to expedite completion of surface major and medium irrigation projects. The scheme included surface minor irrigation schemes in the North Eastern states since 1999-2000.

It was from December 2006, the central assistance under the AIBP was extended to non-special category states for the development of surface minor irrigation schemes with a potential more than 50 hectares, serving drought prone and tribal areas, the report added.

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