Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Sushri Uma Bharti will launch extensive water conservation programme for drought prone areas of Bundelkhand, Marathwada, Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput in Odisha. Sushri Bharti will formally launch the programme on April 28, 2017 at Bandri, Sagar (Madhya Pradesh).Announcing this in New Delhi today the Minister said that her Ministry has prepared a master plan for artificial recharge of ground water in Bundelkhand region. In UP region of Bundelkhand, around 1100 percolation tanks, 14000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 7200 Recharge pits/shafts have been identified. In MP region of Bundelkhand, around 2000 percolation tanks, 55000 small check dams/Nala bunds and 17000 Recharge shafts have been identified. She said as a part of ground water exploration, 234 wells in UP are proposed to be constructed in five districts of Bundelkhand i.e., Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Chitrakoot and Mahoba. As a part of ground water exploration, 259 wells in MP are proposed to be constructed in six districts of Bundelkhand. Sushri Bharti said her Ministry has taken up new initiatives under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes (NGMIS) with an objective to effectively improve ground water conditions in stressed blocks, ensure sustainability of resource both quantitatively and qualitatively, participatory approach in ground water management and institutional strengthening. In Bundelkhand region of UP, six districts covering an area of 11851 sq km have been considered under this initiative. In Bundelkhand region of MP, five districts covering an area of 8319 sq km have been considered under this initiative.The Minister informed that Incentivization Scheme for Bridging Irrigation Gap (ISBIG) scheme is being prepared by the Ministry with an objective to complete CADWM works along with correction of system deficiencies in canal network for bridging the gap between Irrigation Potential Created (IPC) and Irrigation Potential Utilised (IPU), improving the water use efficiency in irrigation and providing assured supply of water to every farm field and transfer of control and management of irrigation system to the Water Users’ Associations (WUAs). In Bundelkhand region of UP, Betwa and Gursarai canal, Rajghat canal, Ken canal system, Gunta Nala dam and Upper Rajghat canal with target to bridge 17,1030 hact under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lalitpur and Banda districts in Bundelkhand region. In Bundelkhand region of MP Rajghat Canal Project with target to bridge 68007 ha under this scheme is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Tikamgarh and Datia districts.The Minister said in Marathwada region of Maharashtra seven schemes with target to bridge 53365 ha gap between IPC and IPU is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Aurangabad, Latur, Nanded, Prabhani, Nanded, Solapur and Osmanabad districts and involve an expenditure of Rs. 250 crore. An area of 3727 sq.km in Marathwada is proposed to be covered under National Ground Water Management Improvement Schemes involving an expenditure approximate of Rs. 380 crore. Aquifer mapping of 9101 sq. km. of area in Marathwada has been completed. Management Plan of 7775 sq. km has been submitted to Maharashtra government. Sushri Bharti said in Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput (KBK) region of Odisha, nine projects with target to cover 0.68 lakh ha of potential under the scheme to bridge the gap between PIC and IPU is being proposed. The scheme will benefit Malkangiri, Bolangir, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Bargarh districts of KBK region. 305 wells have been constructed in the region. 89 water bodies from KBK region with estimated cost of Rs. 32 crore and targeted revival of irrigation potential of 5739 ha have been included for providing central assistance under PMKSY. These water bodies are part of cluster of 760 WBs in Odisha in which central assistance of Rs. 107 crore has been released including those in KBK region. Out of the 99 ongoing major medium irrigation projects to be completed in phased manner by March, 2019 under AIBP, four projects namely Lower Indra (KBK), Upper Indravati (KBK), RET irrigation and Telengiri shall benefit KBK region. Ultimate irrigation potential of these schemes is 1.44 lakh ha. During 2016-17, an amount of Rs. 233 crore was released for these schemes under AIBP and CAD Schemes.