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.
Speaking at the event where thousands had collected, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the prime minister has left no stone unturned for the development of the state.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the dais to address the crowds, he first paid tribute to General Bipin Rawat, who was killed along with his wife and 11 other defence personnel in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
#WATCH | Balrampur: PM remembers #CDSGeneralBipinRawat & others who lost their lives in #TamilNaduChopperCrash. He says, "...I express condolences to all brave warriors who died in Dec 8 crash...India is mourning but despite being in pain India won't stop or be at a standstill.." pic.twitter.com/H0r21hv6c2
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 11, 2021
He also made a special mention of Group Captain Varun Singh, who is the lone survivor of the IAF helicopter crash, and a resident of Deoria. "Doctors are working hard to save the life of Group Captain Varun Singh ji. I pray to Maa Pateshwari to save her life.The nation is with the family of Varun Singh ji today, with the families of the heroes we have lost," he said.
The prime minister said that utilising the water of the country's rivers and adequate water reaching the farmers is among the top priorities of his government. "The completion of the Saryu Canal National Project is a proof that when the thinking is honest, the work is also strong."
आज से करीब 50 वर्ष पहले सरयू नहर राष्ट्रीय परियोजना पर कार्य शुरू हुआ था।
जब इस परियोजना पर कार्य शुरू हुआ था, तब इसकी लागत 100 करोड़ रुपये से भी कम थी।
आज यह लगभग 10,000 करोड़ रुपये खर्च करने के बाद परियोजना पूरी हुई है।
— BJP (@BJP4India) December 11, 2021
He added, "We have done more work in Saryu canal project than what was done in five decades, before five years. This is a double engine government. This is the speed of work of double engine government."
The prime minister also invited farmers across the country to watch a mega programme on natural farming on 16 December, saying it would prove beneficial for them
As the Assembly elections in the state are nearing, he also took the opportunity to criticise the Opposition in the state. "There are some people who have a habit of saying that they may have cut the ribbon of this plan in their childhood," he said in a direct jibe to the Samajwadi Party, who claim that three fourth work on the Saryu Nahar National Project had been completed during the Akhilesh Yadav government.
He praised the Yogi government in the state highlighting that ever since the BJP came to power in the populous state there has only been development.
He also highlighted that unlike the previous government, which protected the mafia, Yogi's government was busy cleaning the mafia out.
About the Saryu Canal project
The Saryu canal project 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.
With inputs from PTI