The Honourable Union Minister of Transport of India, Shri. Nitin Gadkari recently visited Belagavi, in northern Karnataka to meet with the Chief Minister.
During the visit, the Union Minister made a dedicated reference to infrastructure investments in irrigation as part of the PMKSY-AIBP funding, specifically highlighting the automation of the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NLBC) network.
The Union Minister said, “The automation of Narayanpur Left Bank Canal is ideal for the successful delivery of water to farmers located over 4.5 lakh hectares of irrigated land in the drought-prone districts of northern Karnataka.”
Rubicon’s suite of canal automation technology is servicing over 90% or 4.08 lakh hectares (1,000,000 acres) of the NLBC command area.
The project scope includes the installation of more than 4,000 automated Rubicon control and regulating gates, along with sophisticated software and communication infrastructure that will precisely manage the delivery of water to farmers, located along approximately 930mi of canals.
The Union Minister went on to say that “this project is setting a benchmark for the direction of future irrigation modernization projects, and I request that the state introduce a similar journey for other irrigation districts throughout Karnataka.”
The project is scheduled for completion this year and is expected to improve water efficiency within the NLBC network by up to 20%.
In addition, earlier this month the Honourable Union Minister of Jal Shakthi (Water), Shri. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, travelled to the project region to gain a first-hand glimpse of the new modernized system. Shri. Shekhawat visited the project’s mission control centre where he was provided with an overview of the software that is specifically designed to monitor and control the delivery of water in real-time throughout the modernized area.
Shri. Shekhawat also travelled to one of the newly constructed cross-regulating sites that is entirely powered by solar and capable of operating at a high duty cycle, 24/7 to provide equitable service to the system.
As part of the field visit, he was granted exclusive access to experience the simplicity of remotely operating these large modern gates via the secure software on a cell phone.
The Union Minister acknowledged the immediate advantages of the modernized system, making numerous observations to express delight with the fact that the project had been successful in enabling efficient delivery of water, and pointing out that the entire canal network is now being automated around the clock.
Shri. Shekhawat said that farmers “will now be able to grow more crops in any given area. Furthermore, they will have the choice to diversify into commercial crops without having to worry about supply of water.”
We had the opportunity to speak to a group of local farmers who are located on tail-end canals and are now receiving irrigation water for the first time in decades.
One farmer mentioned “Earlier [prior to modernisation], we never used to get [irrigation] water, but this year we got water.” As Medha and Rubicon install more gates here, we are confident that these farmers will receive water in all cropping seasons.
Key images and highlight video from these events and the modernization project below.