Asia’s Largest Drip Irrigation Project "Ramthal"

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Asia’s largest Drip Irrigation Project Ramthal

Ramthal project which is Asia’s largest drip irrigation project and it was executed by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures (MEIL), has been commissioned.This project is located at Bagalkot district of Karnataka.The project, which was envisioned by the  client Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited (KBJNL), was successfully completed by MEIL.The project will be inaugurated by MB Patil, Minister for Water Resources, Karnataka. 
A total of 2,150 km length of pipeline was laid for the drip irrigation project that costs Rs 381.50 crore.A source in the Ramthal project said the benefits of the automated system are that irrigation can be increased up to 100%, compared to conventional projects. It improves water use efficiency beyond 90%, saves around 50% of power, ensures high efficiency in the use of fertilizers and no soil erosion, and maintains soil health.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2013-14 at a cost of Rs935 crore.This project is providing irrigation facilities to 7382 beneficiaries consisting of 28 water user co-operative societies.More than 6000 farmers will benefit from the project.

MEIL will be supported of this project for the next five years.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.

The officials of the Karnataka Water Resources Department clarified that this project will reduce water usage, pesticide usage, costs, and increase yields for the farmers. This is the first project in India built with the Israeli drip irrigation technology. The pipeline system for this project was laid underground and the pipes for this project are made of fiber optic material and last for more than 50 years.

On completion, areas that receive water from a regular canal will be able to save an additional 1.34 TMC ft of water. Of the 5.84 TMC ft of water allocated from the Krishna River, the project will use 3.07 TMC ft of water for Phase I and 2.77 TMC of water for phase II.