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Odisha-NABARD sign MoU for groundwater recharge project

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Bhubaneswar: In a significant development, Odisha government signed an MoU for implementation of country’s first project on climate change for massive groundwater recharge.

The Department of Water Resources signed the agreement with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at State Secretariat here today.

The 166.30 million USD (approximately Rs 1115 crore)-project will be implemented in 15 districts of the State — Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sonepur — in five years. Out of the total project estimate, the South Korean-based Green Climate Fund will provide 34.36 million USD (approximately Rs 232 crore) to the State government as financial assistance through NABARD.

“The project envisages a massive groundwater recharge at a cost of about Rs 1,100 crore. The Green Climate Fund is giving an assistance of about Rs 240 crore. The State government will arrange the remaining amount through convergence funding,” said Naveen Patnaik.

Under the project, 10,000 ponds will be renovated and recharge structure will be constructed to conserve surplus rainwater.

“Apart from renovation and improvement of 10,000 ponds, the project envisages shafts to recharge at least 1,65,000 acre feet of water to the aquifers, development of 1,000 deep bore wells with solar pumping based micro irrigation and capacity building of farmers,” he said.

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