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Fourth spell of Mission Kakatiya from January

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Hyderabad: Arrangements have picked up pace for restoration of around 5,700 minor irrigation tanks under the fourth phase of Mission Kakatiya (MK-4) scheduled to be launched next month. Besides reviving village tanks, the latest spell of Mission Kakatiya will focus on stabilising existing ayacut and providing water for additional ayacut.

The State government has received proposals for taking up more than 2,400 works under MK-4. The government issued orders on Saturday for restoration of about 921 minor irrigation tanks, in accordance with directions from Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao.

Of the total works, about 522 tanks are being restored under Krishna Basin and another 399 tanks are being restored under Godavari Basin. Of these, Sangareddy district has highest number of around 206 tanks being rejuvenated. Orders for taking up restoration works in the remaining village tanks are expected within next one week.

Minister Harish Rao has already issued instructions for submission of estimates for revival of various village tanks and complete necessary formalities to obtain administrative sanction of works as well as permissions for desiltation of village tanks. Further, he wanted completion of pending works under MK-2 and MK-3 at the earliest.

It has been decided that proposals for works which have been rejected under previous three phases of Mission Kakatiya will not be entertained under any circumstances.

“Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is keen on launching the works within next a couple of weeks. Most of the arrangements have been completed and we are awaiting nod from the Chief Minister’s Office for launching MK-4 in January,” said an official from Mission Kakatiya programme.

To ensure effective implementation of the programme, the Chief Minister reportedly suggested for involving local people in a large scale for revival of village tanks. Local Farmers Associations’ Coordination Committees (FACCs) will be encouraged to use silt in farm lands to improve fertility rather than chemicals. The irrigation officials have been instructed to enlist support of local elected representatives by involving them in grounding of the works. Further, the State government is keen to conduct soil-testing of farm lands in the ayacut before using silt in these lands.

The State government had spent about Rs 2,700 crore in last three phases of Mission Kakatiya as against works worth an estimated Rs 7,357.42 crore sanctioned under the project for restoring over 46,000 tanks. Works pertaining to around 15,500 tanks were completed, stabilising 10.3 lakh acre ayacut. As per a survey conducted by NABARD, the novel programme had enhanced productivity with 51 per cent rise in acreage and 42.6 per cent increase in irrigation intensity. Besides improving groundwater levels, the government succeeded in increasing irrigation under village tanks to about 16 lakh acres against 10 lakh acres in the past.

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