Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Saryu Canal National Project which will provide assured water for irrigation to over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers, mainly in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The project has been completed at a cost of over Rs 9,800 crore, out of which more than Rs 4,600 crore was provisioned in the last four years.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya were among those present at the project inauguration programme.
The Saryu canal project also involves interlinking of five rivers -- Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga and Rohini -- to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region.
The work on the project started in 1978 but due to lack of continuity of budgetary support, interdepartmental coordination and adequate monitoring, it got delayed and was not completed even after nearly four decades, according to an official statement.
Consequently in 2016, the project was brought under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the target to complete it in a time-bound manner.
The renewed focus has resulted in the project being completed in only about four years, it said.
The project will provide assured water for irrigation to over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers of more than 6,200 villages, the statement said.
It will benefit nine districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, namely Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharthnagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gorakhpur and Maharajganj, it said.
The farmers of the region, who were the worst sufferers of the inordinate delay in the project, will now immensely benefit from the upgraded irrigation potential, the statement said.
They will now be able to grow crops on a larger scale and maximize the agri-potential of the region, it said.