GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - Irrigation and Sericulture Minister Ranjit Dutta today said that the State Irrigation Department which had adopted a hundred days' programme comprising five projects, was successful in meeting the targets.
The Minister also announced that a move was afoot to operate deep tubewells for irrigation by using solar power. Seven pilot projects have been prepared for the purpose.
Addressing a press conference, Dutta said that a major achievement was the completion of NABARD (RIDF-XVIII)-sponsored 20 small irrigation plants with a capacity to irrigate 1,554 hectares of cropland.
�This will benefit 1,451 farming families in the districts of Barpeta, Dhemaji, Kamrup, Hojai, Darrang, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Udalguri.
In addition, another small irrigation project under NABARD (RIDF-XIX) has been completed, which will irrigate 450 hectares.
Moreover, 54 abandoned projects have been revived successfully, which can now irrigate 3,211 hectares. We are also planning to implement the Prime Minister�s KSY project for the first time,� he said.
The PMKSY project to be implemented in a phased manner will ensure irrigation to all agricultural land in the State. The State Agriculture Department has been chosen by the Centre as the nodal authority for the purpose and an organisation named NABCONS has been entrusted with the task of finalising the programme implementation.
Dutta said that the Assam Irrigation Rules-1997 and the Assam Irrigation Water Users� Act-2004 had been amended to make the farmers active stakeholders in irrigation.
�Now the farmers, instead of paying tax for irrigation, will themselves collect and use the amount under water users� associations for maintenance of the irrigation plants�.
On a different front altogether, asserting that the Government was committed to uplift the condition of the weavers, Dutta said that an amount of Rs 469 lakh had been released for 11 yarn storage facilities in the State during the first phase as part of a project to have 27 yarn storage facilities.