Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways held a meeting with officials of his ministry and officials of Bihar and Jharkhand Governments in New Delhi yesterday to discuss the progress of the North Koel Reservoir Project. The project on North Koel River, a tributary of River Sone is located in the Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand. The project construction was originally started in the year 1972 and continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar. The Union Cabinet had in August 2017, approved the proposal for completing the balance works of the North-Koel reservoir project at an estimated cost of Rs 1622.27 crore.Many critical issues related to the project were discussed in yesterday’s meeting and Shri Gadkari directed officials to fast track the smooth and timely implementation of the project. MoS in the Ministry Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister for Water Resources, Govt. of Jharkhand Shri Chandra Prakash Choudhary were also present in the meeting.The project aims to provide irrigation to 111,521 hectares of land annually in the most drought prone areas of Aurangabad and Gaya districts of Bihar and Palamu and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand.
The balance works of the project include works on Mandal Dam & Mohammadganj Barrage, Main Canals (Right & Left), Branch Canal, Distributaries, Minors and Water courses. An amount of Rs. 1378.61 crore will be provided by Government of India as central share towards common components (which includes forest related expenses also) as a grant from Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) whereas Rs. 212.43 crore and 31.23 crore would be borne by Govt. of Bihar and Jharkhand respectively. M/s WAPCOS Ltd., a CPSU under MoWR, RD & GR is implementing the project.An amount of Rs. 572.38 crore has been released by MoWR, RD & GR through NABARD from LTIF to the Water Resources Department, State Govt. of Jharkhand for forest related components viz. CA, NPV, CAT Plan, Soil and Moisture Conservation work etc. So far, an amount of about Rs. 18.37 crore has been released to M/s WAPCOS through NABARD from LTIF for the civil works of the project.The unfinished project as on date is providing irrigation to 71,720 hectares and completion of this project will provide additional irrigation benefit to the extent of 39,801 hectares. The irrigation potential through this Project in the two States would be as follows:
Total irrigation potential: 1,11, 521 hectares
Irrigation potential in Bihar: 91,917 hectares
Irrigation potential in Jharkhand: 19,604 hectares