Another Jumla: Modi Promised To Complete 99 Irrigation Projects By 2019; 75% Work Still Pending
Seventy-four projects are still waiting for the construction of field canals and command area development.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made an array of promises in its 2014 election manifesto. One of those promises was to “increase irrigated land [by] completing the long-pending irrigation projects on priority”. Recent estimates suggest that the Modi government has not been able to complete the basic work in 75 per cent of the irrigation projects.
According to The Telegraph, of the 99 irrigation projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to complete by 2019, 74 are still waiting for the construction of field canals and command area development. The government has claimed that it has achieved this goal substantially by citing “half-cooked data from the Union ministry of water resources”.
The report also cited a Niti Aayog’s recently released Composite Water Management Index that shows how we are suffering from the worst water crisis in history. A CAG report presented on this matter notes that even after spending Rs 13,299 crore on five projects under implementation, none of them is near completion: “[a]s of March 2017, only five out of 16 National projects with estimated Irrigation Potential… of 25.10 lakh Ha were under implementation. The remaining 11 projects with estimated IP of 10.48 lakh Ha are yet to start.”
The prime minister, the daily noted, would need to be in possession of a “magic wand” to ensure the completion of all priority or national irrigation projects by the end of 2019 and solve all problems related to irrigation by 2022.