Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Monday handed over a cheque of Rs 1,981 crore to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the Polavaram irrigation project.
Bharti, in a function in New Delhi, also presented a cheque worth Rs 3,274 crore (including Polavaram) for other irrigation projects in Gujarat and Maharashtra, an official statement.
The current year's liability of the Polavaram Project is Rs 2,981.54 crore of which Rs 1,981.54 crore has been released.
Polavaram Project, a multi-purpose irrigation project, has an assessed command area of 2.91 lakh hectares and power generation potential of 960 MW. It was declared a national project in 2014.
Speaking on the occasion, Bharti said that government has declared it as a national project and all future expenditure on it would be borne by the central government.
She said all irrigation projects under the central government's irrigation scheme --Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) including Polavaram would completed by the year 2019.
The minister said that the project will help in clearance of additional 80 lakh hectare of agricultural land.
"It also has a provision for supply of 23.44 thousand Million Cubic Feet (TMC) water as drinking water supply to Vishakhapatnam city and other areas, as also industrial water supply to Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant. An inter basin transfer of 80 TMC water annually to Krishna River Basin is also envisaged," she said, according to a statement.
Bharti said 26 irrigation projects, most in drought prone districts of Maharashtra, would be completed by 2018.
The financial assistance was given in presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.