• The Government of India (GoI), West Bengal state government, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a loan agreement for a $145 million project.
• The main objective is to improve flood management and irrigation services in the Damodar Valley Command Area (DVCA) in West Bengal state.
• The West Bengal Major Irrigation and Flood Management Project aims to benefit about 2.7 million farmers from five districts of West Bengal. It will benefit over 393,964 ha area with better irrigation services and improved protection against annual flooding.
• The project will improve irrigation and agriculture in the area by optimizing the use of surface and groundwater. It will also strengthen flood management, which will, in turn, boost agricultural productivity and increase incomes in rural areas.
• The key challenges faced by the area is the degradation of infrastructure and inadequate irrigation management, including poor quality of service delivery, inefficient irrigation, and the failure to serve the middle and tail parts.
• The Lower Damodar basin area is historically flood-prone. The downstream part of the project area lacks the infrastructure to protect against recurrent flooding.
Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: USD 145 million project
Mains level: Highlights of the project