The Union government has released a sum of Rs 868 crore to take up minor irrigation projects in the drought-affected taluks of the State.

The State government had submitted a proposal to take up about 493 different minor irrigation projects in 81 drought-affected taluks at a cost of Rs 685 crore. Of these, the Centre approved 404 projects to be taken up in five phases, Secretary to Minor Irrigation Department P N Srinivasachary said.