The Duddhi tehsil of Sonbhadra district is always under drought and it is inhabited primarily by tribals with no means of irrigation. To provide irrigation facility in this region, the Kanhar Irrigation Project is proposed by building a 39.90 metres high and 3.24km long bundh (embankment) on the Kanhar river, and utilizing 0.15 million acre-ft water. Under this project it is proposed to have 121.10 km main canals and branches, and 190.00 km Rajbaha and Minors to irrigate an area of 35467 hectares including both crops in 26075 hectares of agricultural land. After the implementation of this project, the population of about 108 villages in Duddhi and Chopal development blocks will be benefited and it will be possible to provide water to 12 reservoirs previously built by the irrigation department.
The original cost of the Kanhar irrigation project in 1976-77 was estimated at Rs 27.75 crores and the estimate was sent to the Central Water Commission and the UP Government. The UP Government had accorded financial sanction for Rs 27.75 crores vide letter no 258/79/23-C-999/73 dated 29.01.1979. Work on the project started in the year 1976 and the work remained suspended from 1983-84 to 2000-2001. In 17 years, the work of getting consent from MP (now Chhattisgarh) and Bihar (now Jharkhand), maintenance of created assets, research work related to soil testing for data needed for designing of slipways, survey on the left Kanhar canal, acquisition of agricultural land and distribution of compensation were done.
In the year 2010, the project was approved by the Central Water Commission, Government of India, as per the Departmental Rate Schedule-2008. The revised cost of the project was calculated at Rs 652.58 crore which was sanctioned at the 106th meeting of TAC on 16.09.2010. In a meeting of the expenditure finance committee on 2.11.2010 a sum of Rs 652.58 crores was approved. The investment clearance for this project has been granted by the Planning Commission, Government of India. After getting the clearance from Central Water Commission and Planning Commission the contracts for the works have been secured in 08/2011 and the work was started.
From 2010-11 to 2013-14, the financing of the project under the Government of India AIBP scheme could not be acquired. After changes in the guidelines of AIBP, NABARD was approached for financing the state component. In September 2013, NABARD directed to present the scheme for revision as per the present rate schedule. With the efforts of the Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources and Principal Secretary, Irrigation and Water Resources, the project was approved for Rs 1761.81 crore from the state’s expenditure finance committee as per the rate schedule of 2013-14. After the approval of expenditure finance committee, the project was forwarded to Central Water Commission in January 2014. The project was approved for Rs 2252.29 crore in the 124th meeting of the TAC of the Central Water Commission on 16.10.2014. After approval from Central Water Commission, it was approved by expenditure finance committee for Rs 2239.35 on 8.01.2015, and its approval was issued as per DO letter no 316/Pra.Ra.Bhu.Pr./13, expenditure finance committee, Secretariat. The administrative and financial sanction of the revised project was issued as per the UP Government letter no 23/257/14-27-Si-4-172 (W) Par./06, dated 17-2-2014. After this, in the year 2013-14 Rs 50.00 crores, and in the year 2014-15, Rs 195.00 crores were allocated. Thus, so far Rs (63.55+50.00+195.00) = 308.55 crores have been spent on this project. For financial year 2015-16, a provision of Rs 280.00 crores on this project has been approved by the government. Against this, Rs 183.50 crore have been spent till the month 01/2016. The physical progress of the project is about 30 per cent.