Raipur/New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh government is considering covering more villages under the Asian Development Bank-funded irrigation development project in the second phase.
    
The state government is implementing the Chhattisgarh Irrigation Development Project (CIDP) in 600 villages to improve the productivity of irrigated agriculture. The project is expected to complete by March 2013.
    
Speaking to reporters during an interaction recently, Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary, Water Resources, N K Aswal said, "Looking into the benefits of this project, the state government is considering to take up a second phase of ADB project. We are currently analysing that.
    
"Now we are trying to replicate the benefits of the project in other areas of the state as well." The USD 66.6 million CIDP project that started in June 2006 is partly funded by the state and the multi-lateral lending agency ADB. Of the total project cost, ADB has funded USD 46.1 million, the state government USD 19.9 million and the beneficiaries have USD 0.6 million.
    
"The objective of the project is to improve the productivity of irrigated agriculture through improved irrigation service delivery, enhanced agricultural practices, and strengthened water resources management so as to enhance rural livelihoods and reduce rural poverty," CIDP Project Director B D Vaishnav said.
    
The project has also taken up rehabilitation and upgradation of about 200-250 minor and medium irrigation systems in the state. The CIDP project also has an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programme for farmers which include distributing news letters, brochures and year planners to the farmers.
    
Chhattisgarh has about 56 lakh hectare cultivable land of which 52 lakh is under cultivation. However, land with irrigation facility is about 18 lakh hectare. The state is mostly dependent on monsoon rains to irrigate its crop.

(Agencies)

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