An ambitious project to mitigate flood damage in Bihar has taken a major step forward with a central agency finalising the detailed project report for linking four intra-state rivers which would help protect three districts from floods.
The multi-purpose project, which envisages diversion of 492 cumecs of flood water from Burhi Gandak river to Baya/Ganga river, would also augment irrigation of over a lakh hectares of farmland.
DPR, prepared by the National Water Development Agency, is a crucial step in the process of interlinking rivers that enables a state government to approach the Central Water Commission (CWC) for further clearances.
According to the report, interlinking of the four rivers — Gandak, Noon, Baya and Ganga — would protect three districts of Samastipur, Begusarai and Khagaria in the flood-prone state from devastation caused during annual floods.
While the three districts collectively record flood damage to the tune of Rs 204.73 crore annually, diverting flood waters would save Rs 143.31 crore.
It would also pave the way for enhancing irrigation of 1.26 lakh hectares proposed during kharif season, giving irrigation benefits worth Rs 587.10 crore.
Estimated at a total cost of Rs 4,200 crore, the report proposes construction of a barrage across the flood-prone Burhi Gandak river and a long canal, measuring 29 km, offtaking from the barrage and falls into Baya river. Interestingly, the DPR of Burhi Gandak—Noon—Baya—Ganga Intra—State link is the first such project of any state government taken up by NWDA, functioning under the Ministry of Water Resources.
The DPR, completed in the less than three years, was taken up after the Bihar government made a request in this connection.
The four-volume report has been sent to the Water Resources Department of the state government for further action.