New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) Karnataka government has received environmental clearance for expanding the command area of Upper Krishna Irrigation Project (UKIP) to provide irrigation facilities for the drought-prone areas in three districts — Bijapur, Bagalkot and Raichur at a cost of Rs 3,710 crore.
Presently, UKIP is irrigating 6,22,000 hectares of command area, providing irrigation facility to desert areas of Bijapur district and drought-prone areas of Bagalkot, Gulbarga, Yadagir and Raichur districts in northern Karnataka.
To eradicate regional imbalances, state-run Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd (KBJNL) has proposed expansion of the command area of UKIP to provide irrigation facilities for adjacent areas. The modernisation proposal involves lifting of water from Krishna river directly at four places without constructing any structures across the river.
“The Union Environment Ministry has given the environment clearance to the Rs 3,710 proposal for modernising the Upper Krishna Irrigation Project in Karnataka. The clearance has been given subject to compliance of certain conditions,” a senior government official said.
Among conditions specified, the official said that the implementing agency KBJNL has been asked to ensure the catchment area treatment be rolled out in consultation with the Karnataka State Forest Department.
It has also been asked to fully utilise the allocated grant of Rs 81 crore for this purpose.
After five years of the commissioning of the project, the state government has been told undertake a study to assess the impact on environment and downstream ecology. The state has also been asked to submit six monthly report.
As per the proposal, water from Krishna river will be lifted from four places: Budihaal-Peerapur in Bijapur district, Nandawadgi in Raichur district and Ramathal and Thimmapur in Bagalkot district.
The project envisages utilisation of 21 TMC of allocated water within the gross command area to provide irrigation facility to 1.29 lakh hectares of area benefitting 291 villages in three districts.
The state government has informed the Centre that the proposed modernisation project will have major impact on the area, especially since 80 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for their subsistence.
The water will be drawn from existing Almatti and Narayanpur dams. The water required to irrigate the additional command area to be achieved by reducing irrigation intensity of Upper Krishna project from 115 per cent to 100 per cent.
Total land requirement is about 2,403 hectares. Out of which, KBJNL has already acquired 822 hectares and remaining land of 1,581 hectares will be acquired as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2014.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.