• The Inauguration of Asia’s Largest Drip Irrigation Project.
• Karnataka ministers will inaugurate the project in Ramthal Marola of Bhagalkot District.
• MEIL has successfully completed this prestigious project.
• The project will cater to a combined acreage of 12300 acres.
• More than 6000 farmers will benefit from the project.
• The total length of pipeline is 2150 km.
The largest drip irrigation project in Asia – the prestigious Ramthal project, which was successfully executed by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), will be put into operation on Sunday in Ramthal Marola located in Bhagalkot district of Karnataka. The project, which was envisioned by the client Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited, was successfully completed by MEIL. The project will be inaugurated by Mr. M. B. Patil, who is the Minister for Water Resources in the Government of Karnataka. Netafim, an Israeli corporation, has provided technical assistance for this project. MEIL will be in charge of the operation and maintenance of this project for the next five years. A total of 2150 km. length of pipeline was laid for this drip irrigation project.
Due to insufficient naturally available water resources, the farmers in Ramthal Marola region faced a lot of difficulties. The situation was critical for those farmers who had holdings at the edge of the ayacut. While farmers with holdings closer to the ayacut had two crops every year, the farmers at the edge were not even able to cultivate one crop annually. Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL) decided to rectify this situation. They handed over the task to MEIL. MEIL, which successfully executed Pattisam project in Andhra Pradesh in a record time, took over the reins to complete the largest drip irrigation project in Asia. By utilizing the backwaters of Alimatti project, this scheme is getting ready to alleviate the hardships faced by the local farmers for many decades in the past.
The farmers, who initially declined to handover their lands for project construction, were later convinced by explaining about the benefits they will receive in the future. Finally the project has been completed and is ready to be inaugurated on Sunday. In the past, the farmers with holdings at the edge of the ayacut were constantly protesting since they never received sufficient water. Now, that issue will be resolved.
As a part of this drip irrigation scheme, every farmer will receive water through a cylinder installed in their respective farmlands. All the required fertilizers and pesticides can also mixed and put into the cylinder. This system will help in eliminating water wastage. The technology used in this project will also purify the wastage that flows in the backwaters of River Krishna. The officials of the Karnataka Water Resources Department have clarified that this project will reduce water usage, reduce pesticide usage, reduce costs, and increase yields for the farmers. This is the first project in India built with Israeli drip irrigation technology. The honor goes to MEIL. As opposed to regular drip irrigation projects, the pipeline system for this project was laid underground. Most of the pipes laid underground will not last for more than 10-15 years.
However, the pipes for this project are made of fiber optic material and last for more than 50 years. The farmers will not face any hurdles since the pipes are laid underground. For the purpose of this project, MEIL got these fiber optic pipes specially manufactured. In case of non-availability of backwaters from River Krishna, the farmers are also given an alternative to use water from bore-wells installed in their farmlands.
After the operations and maintenance period of five years, MEIL will hand over the project to the farmers. After this period, the farmers will collectively take over the management of the scheme. Every year, the farmers will deposit Rs. 1300 for per acre, in the bank. After five years, this amount will be used in case of any requirements.