PM Modi’s : Like his father, Dattatatraya Kshirsagar, 80, has been looking ahead for years to the day when a $65 million dam will be finished in his village, an hour-and-a-half drive southeast of Mumbai.
The dam would supply enough water for irrigation of 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of parched land near to it, including Kshirsagar`s 2.5-hectare family farm in Kondhane village.
A steady water supply, rather reliance on seasonal monsoon rains.
Modi`s budget has assigned a record $18 billion in the fed budget to extend irrigation & recharge aquifers – two thirds of that could come from overseas loans.
Many country`s 1.3 billion people live in the countryside and depend on agriculture to make a living.
SLOTH, CORRUPTION, UNCOORDINATION : Stalled projects like the Kondhane dam tell a cautionary story for politicians making huge promises.
Successive fed govts have thrown billions of USD over the years to fix the problem. But many of the projects stalled due to bureaucratic sloth, opposition, corruption to land accession and lack of coordination within the government.
Greater than 200 irrigation projects worth some $36 billion have been stuck for years. One irrigation project has languished for 40 years in eastern UP. The delay has increased the cost of the Durgawati project by eight times to 8 billion rupees ($119.15 million), a source at the Water Resources ministry said.
DEPLETING GROUNDWATER : Projects of irrigation of Surface cover only 25 million hectares of that total. Capitalize electricity gives farmers, to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast evacuating water tables.
That has lent an contributed urgency to speed up the projects of surface irrigation.
Modi`s commanding has decided to focus initially on 46 of the stalled projects of surface irrigation. It has set a time limit to complete half of those by Mar 2017 and the other half by 2020, in accordance with the 2016/17 fed budget.And 23 projects will help bring an extra 1.3 million hectares under irrigation.