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Willing to provide assistance to Subarnekha proposal: Centre

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) The Centre today said it would consider providing assistance to the Subernarekha project in West Bengal under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) after getting the necessary proposal from the state government along with an indication for matching budget provision made by the state.

Replying to a Calling Attention motion on the subject, raised by Mr Basudeb Acharia (CPI) and others, in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said the state government had proposed during August 2004 for exclusion of the project from AIBP and for transfer of the unspent balance amounting to Rs 10.25 crore to the Teesta Barrage Project. This proposal was accepted by the Ministry of Water Resources.

Deputing for the Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, he said the state government had included the Subernarekha project under their programme of Bharat Nirman.

On the demand of Mr Acharia that the Subernarekha project should be included under AIBP, he said ''we have no objection, if the state government want to bring it back to AIBP track.'' Subernarekha is an interstate river flowing through the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa. Consequent to the tripartite agreement, each of the three co-basin states have drawn up their own programme to harness the water resources of the Subernarekha river basin.

Subernarekha Barrage Project in West Bengal envisages construction of a barrage across Subernarekha river downstream of Chandil dam and Galudih barrage near Bhosraghat to irrigate 114,198 hectares annually in the Midnapur district of West Bengal through a left bank canal and its distribution system covering a culturable command area of 96,860 hectares as approved by the Planning Commission in 1995.

The project was taken up for construction in the year 1995-96 at an estimated cost of Rs 215.61 crore. The project cost at the present level would work out to Rs 1350 crore.

The actual project works have not yet been started and only infrastructural works are in progress. No potential has been created so far.

UNI SH vD GC1642

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