Centre hikes contribution to complete stalled North Koel Irrigation Project



Context: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a proposal by the Jal Shakti Ministry to increase its share of funding for the under-construction North Koel Reservoir, an inter-State irrigation project spanning Bihar and Jharkhand.


The Centre committed to contribute ₹1,836 crore against the ₹1,378 crore approved in 2017

This increases the project’s total cost from ₹1,622 crore in 2017 to ₹2,430 crore at present.

On completion, the project would provide additional annual irrigation to 42,301 hectares in the four drought-prone districts of Jharkhand and Bihar


About North Koel River


  • The North Koel rises on the Chhota Nagpur plateau and enters Latehar district, below Netarhat near Rud.
  • It joins the Sone River a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar.
  • It meanders through the northern part of Betla National Park.


About North Koel Reservoir Project


  • It is an interstate major irrigation project with a command area lying in the two states of Bihar and Jharkhand
  • The project comprises 
    • a dam on North Koel river near Kutku village, Latehar district, Jharkhand 
    • a barrage 96 km downstream of the dam at Mohammadganj, Palamu district, Jharkhand
    • a Right Main Canal and Left Main Canal, taking off from the barrage.
  • The Bihar government began work on the dam in 1972 from its own resources. 
  • The work continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the State Forest Department over concerns that it threatened the Betla National Park and Palamu Tiger Reserve.
  • The project before it stalled was providing annual irrigation to 71,720 hectares
  • After Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, the dam, barrage and the LMC from Mohammadganj barrage lie in Jharkhand while of the RMC, the first 31.40 km lies in Jharkhand and the remaining 79.04 km lies in Bihar.
  • In 2016, the Centre decided to complete the project and as a compromise, reduce the reservoir level to save the core area of Palamu Tiger Reserve.


Imp for: UPSC Prelims, UPSC GS Mains Paper II

Topic: Polity, Inter-State Water Disputes, Federalism





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