9th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)

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Agriculture, Irrigation, Food Security and Nutrition
Agriculture || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Food and Nutrition Security



4.2.1 Agricultural growth is a pre-requisite for the economic and social development of our country. Agriculture contributes 28% of GNP, about 60% of employment and is the primary source of livelihood in rural areas which account for 75% of India's population and 80% of its poor. The irrigated agriculture, contributes nearly 56% of agricultural output. Addressing the irrigation sector's current performance problems will thus be a central element of future strategy for agricultural development. India has now nearly reached the ceiling of available land suitable for cultivation. Between 1970-71 to 1993-94, net sown area remained virtually unchanged (from 140.27 to 142.10 m.ha.). Hence, increase in production is attributable to an increase in yields through increase in cropping intensity and utilisation of better inputs. The increase in irrigation intensity has contributed to the growth in the overall cropping intensity (including rainfed crops) which increased from 111.07% in 1950-51 to 131.19% in 1993-94. The nature of irrigation development in northwest areas has had much to do with its impact on cropping intensity. Expansion of tubewells and availability of surface water from storage type irrigation projects has enabled the production of Rabi and summer crops. Supplemental irrigation is available via run-of-the-river irrigation schemes as the snow melts. In the 1950s and 1960s, extension in cultivated area contributed substantially to increase in our foodgrain production. Mid Sixties onwards, expansion of irrigation as well as introduction of high yielding varieties of rice, wheat and other crops brought the country's foodgrain production to a satisfactory level. Further step up in foodgrain production, to the extent of its doubling in next 10 years, would mainly depend on the availability and performance efficiency of irrigation. The Ninth Plan will make a thrust in this direction through a "Special Action Plan", the details of which are included subsequently. The overall strategy of irrigation development and management during the Ninth Plan will have the following core ingredients :

  1. To improve water use efficiency by progressive reduction in conveyance and application losses,
  2. To bridge the gap between the potential created and its utilisation by strengthening the Command Area Development Programme (CADP), institutional reforms and promoting farmers' involvement in irrigation management.
  3. To complete all the ongoing projects, particularly those which were started during pre-Fifth and Fifth Plan Period as a time bound programme to yield benefits from the investments already made.
  4. To restore and modernise the old irrigation systems which were executed during the pre-Independence period and 25 years ago.
  5. To introduce rational pricing of irrigation water, based initially on O and M cost and then to encourage higher level of water use efficiency.
  6. To take concrete steps towards comprehensive and integrated development of natural water resources, taking into account the possibility of inter-river-basin transfer of surplus water and,
  7. To promote adaptive research and development to ensure more cost-effective and efficient execution and management of irrigation systems.
  8. To promote Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) with full involvement of the water user community, which will be at the centre stage of the implementation of above strategies of the Ninth Plan.
  9. To encourage and implement the conjunctive use of ground and surface waters towards optimal utilisation of water resource and to have its development environmentally sustainable as well.
  10. To accelerate the development and utilisation of ground water, particularly in the eastern region on sound technical, environmental and economic considerations along with proper regulatory mechanisms.

Irrigation Development through the Plan periods : Overview

4.2.2 Irrigation is a vital input to increase agricultural output to keep pace with the food requirements of the ever-increasing population. As recently reassessed by the Ministry of Water Resources the country’s ultimate irrigation potential is tentatively estimated at 139.89 m.ha. comprising of 58.46 m.ha. through major and medium irrigation and 81.43 m.ha. from minor irrigation as against pre-revised ultimate irrigation potential of 113.50 m.ha. In the post-Independence period a sum of about Rs.91943.40 crore (including about Rs.13469 crore of institutional investment) at the current price level (Rs.231,386.59 crore at 1996-97 constant price), has been made in major, medium and minor irrigation projects including ground water and as a result, the creation of irrigation potential increased from 22.6 million hectares(m.ha.) in the pre-Independence period, to about 89.56 m.ha. at the end of the Eighth Plan. With this, India has the largest irrigated area among all the countries in the world. This has greatly contributed to the increase in foodgrains production from 51 million tonnes (mt.) in 1950-51 to 198 mt in 1996-97 at a compound annual growth rate of around 3 per cent. Broadly speaking, about 60% of the foodgrains production has come from the irrigated area which constitutes about one-third of the total cultivated area and the remaining production has come from the rainfed areas.

4.2.3 Table-4.2.1 shows the magnitude and the composition of investment in irrigation and flood control projects through successive Plan periods.

  Table 4.2.1
Magnitude  and  Composition of Investment Through Plan periods
 in Irrigation and Flood Control Sectors
                                                    (Rs. in crore at current price level)   
  Plans    Major  and     Minor Irrigation                C.A.D.            Flood      Total at  
Control  	current              
           Medium    Public Institutional Total                         Control    Current  
           Irrgn.       Sector         Finance                          Prices     
 First      376.24        65.62          Neg.      65.62      -         13.21      455.07 
(1951-56)  (7803.42)   (1360.99)                (1360.99)             (273.98)    (9438.39)
 Second     380          142.23         19.35     161.58      -         48.06     589.64 
(1956-61)  (6013.98)   (2250.97)      (306.24)  (2557.21)             (760.61)    (9331.80)
  Third     576          327.73        115.37     443.10      -         82.09     1101.19
(1961-66)  (6674.84)   (3797.82)     (1336.94)  (5134.76)             (551.28)    (12760.88)
  Annual     429.81      326.19        234.74     560.93      -         41.96     1032.70 
(1966-69)  (3943.90)   (2993.10)     (2153.96)  (5147.06)             (585.02)    (9475.98)
  Fourth    1242.30      512.28        661.06    1173.34      -        162.04     2577.48 
(1969-74)  (7976.41)   (3289.18)     (4243.45)  (7532.63)            (1040.40)    (16549.18)
  Fifth     2516.18      630.83        778.76    1409.58      -        298.61     4224.36 
(1974-78) (12519.42)   (3138.74)     (3874.67)  (7013.41)            (1485.75)    (21018.59) 
  Annual    2078.58      501.50        480.40     981.90    362.96*    329.96     3753.40 
(1978-80)  (7949.67)  ( 1918.02)     (1837.32)  (3755.34) (1388.16)  (1261.95)    (14355.15) 
  Sixth     7368.83     1979.26       1437.56    3416.82    743.05     786.85     12315.55 
(1980-85) (19625.50)   (5271.39)     (3826.67)  (5100.06) (1978.97)  (2095.63)    (32800.16) 
  Seventh  11107.29     3118.35       3060.95    6179.30   1447.50     941.58     19675.67 
(1985-90  (21207.15)   (5953.87      (5844.27) (11798.14) (2762.85   (1797.76)    (37566.77) 
  Annual    5459.15     1680.48       1349.59    3030.07    619.45     460.64     9569.31 
(1990-92)  (8125.60)   (2501.29)     (2008.78)  (4510.07)  (922.01)   (685.63)    (14243.32)
  Eighth   21071.87     6408.36       5331.00   11739.36   2145.92    1691.68      36648.83 
(1992-97) (31057.63)   (9445.22)     (7857.31) (17302.52) (3162.85)  (2493.35)    (54016.36) 
  Total    52606.25    15692.83      13468.77   29161.60   5418.88    4856.67     91943.40 
         (132389.93)  (39492.89)    (33895.77) (73388.66)(13385.66) (12222.39)   (231386.59)

SOURCE : Reports of the Working Groups of Ninth Five Year Plan.Upto 3/80.Note : Figures within brackets above indicate the expenditure at constant prices at 1996-97.

4.2.4 Besides the direct investment shown in the above Table, there has been private investments along with indirect investment by way of subsidies to the private development of minor irrigation.
The development of irrigation potential through the successive Plans is shown in Table-4.2.2.

* Component of ground water.

 TABLE 4.2.2
        Development of Irrigation Potential (cumulative) through Plan periods 
                                                                 (In Million ha.)
      Plan    Major/Medium Irrgn.   Minor Irrigation   Total Irrigation    Gross   
             -------------------   ------------------  -----------------   Irrigated 
              Pot.    Utl.         Pot.         Utl.    Pot.      Utl.     Area as  
                                                                           per LandUtl.   
        1       2       3           4            5       6         7           8     
Pre-Plan      9.70     9.70       12.90        12.90   22.60     22.60       22.56 
First        12.20    10.98       14.06        14.06   26.26     25.04       25.64 
Second       14.33    13.05       14.75        14.75   29.08     27.80       27.98 
(1956-61)-GW                     *(8.28)       (8.28)                               
Third        16.57    15.17       17.00        17.00   33.57     32.17       30.90
Annual       18.10    16.75       19.00        19.00   37.10     35.75       35.48 
(1966-69)                                     (12.50) (12.50)                         
Fourth       20.70    18.69       23.50        23.50   44.20     42.19       40.28 
(1969-74)                                     (16.44) (16.44)                        
Fifth        24.72    21.16       27.30        27.30   52.02     48.46       46.08 
(1974-78)                                     (19.80) (19.80)                        
Annual       26.61    22.64       30.00        30.00   56.61     52.64       49.21 
(1978-80)                       	      (22.00) (22.00)                         
Sixth        27.70    23.57       37.52        35.25   65.22     58.82       54.53 
(1980-85)                                     (27.82) (26.24)                         
Seventh      29.92    25.47       46.61        43.12   76.53     68.59       61.85  
(1985-90)                       	      (35.62) (33.15)                         
Annual       30.74    26.32       50.35        46.54   81.09     72.86       65.68
(1990-92)                   		      (38.89) (36.25)                       
Eighth       32.96    28.44       56.60        52.31   89.56     80.75       70.64  

SOURCE : Ministry of Water Resources and Reports of Working Groups and Ninth Five Year Plan proposals of various states.
Figures in Brackets indicate the potential creation by ground water development.

NOTE : Upto the Annual Plan 1978-80, the potential creation and its utilisation for minor irrigation are shown as same. In this context, it is to be mentioned that as per procedure upto Fifth Plan, the utilisation of potential was reckoned as 100% of potential created. However, the PAC in its 141st Report (1982-83) did not accept the above practice. Subsequently, the Working Group on Minor Irrigation for the formulation of Seventh Plan recommended that during the Sixth Plan the utilisation figure might be reported as per existing practice but the base line for the year 1984-85 should be worked out both for potential created and utilised. Accordingly, after consultation with the States the Planning Commission fixed the base figure for 1984-85 for potential created and utilised as 37.52 m.ha and 35.25 m.ha. respectively.

4.2.5 While the irrigation potential created through major and medium irrigation projects has recorded about a four-fold increase, the irrigation potential created through ground water schemes, which are mostly executed and managed by the farmers themselves has recorded about seven-fold increase. Among the most important 11 States, from the point of view of irrigation, (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, M.P., Mahararashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and U.P.) ground water dominates over other sources in all except Haryana. In Gujarat, Bihar, H.P., Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the share of ground water in overall irrigation is over 60 per cent.


Whereas the irrigation potential created through major and medium irrigation projects has recorded about a four-fold increase by the end of Eighth Five Year Plan over the Pre-plan period, the irrigation potential created through ground water schemes, which are mostly executed and managed by the farmers themselves has recorded about seven-fold increase during the corresponding period.

4.2.6 A consolidated statement of year-wise and State-wise financial performance during the Eighth Plan in respect of major and medium, minor irrigation, CADP and flood control is in Annexure-4.2.10.

Utilisation of Created Potential

4.2.7 Due to rapid expansion of irrigation with its emphasis on new construction, particularly till the end of 6th Plan, the performance of irrigation and the sector's broader management have not attracted due attention. The development impact of irrigation is much less than its potential and deficiency in implementation have accumulated over time. The irrigation sector is now facing a challenging situation and four issues are of particular concern : productivity, sustainability, investment and financial discipline alongwith sector management.

4.2.8 As per the latest estimates, the gap between potential creation and utilisation is anticipated to be about 8.81 m.ha. at the end of the Eighth Plan (major and medium irrigation 4.52 m.ha. and minor irrigation 4.29 m.ha). This gap has been increasing from Plan to Plan. But, this data does not give a correct picture of utilisation of irrigation potential, mainly because of the reason that the criteria/norms for reporting the creation of potential and its utilisation adopted by the States are not uniform. For example, Maharashtra gives the utilisation as achieved and irrigated, while U.P. gives the maximum area irrigated since inception during any rabi and kharif period. This needs to be reconciled on the basis of all the States following uniformly the criteria as laid down by the Planning Commission in 1973 in respect of irrigation potential creation and its utilisation (with modification to cover the distribution system upto 5 to 8 ha. blocks). Further, a lag of a few years between the introduction of irrigation and its full utilisation, which is less in the case of minor irrigation, is obvious due to the time required for the construction of the distribution system as well as for switching over from rainfed agriculture to irrigated agriculture involving major changes in agriculture techniques which the farmers take time to master. Further, the potential area, which can be irrigated in a system, depends on several variables including, besides the availability of distribution networks, the volume and seasonal pattern of water availability, the losses in conveyance, distribution and application on fields, the extent to which the conjunctive use is developed and the actual crop pattern on ground. In so far as the assumptions in respect of these parameters, underlying the project design, are not actually realised in full, there is bound to be a divergence between the actual area irrigated and the potential created.

Gap between Potential Creation and Utilisation

As per the latest estimates, the gap between potential creation and utilisation is anticipated to be about 8.81 m.ha. at the end of the Eighth Plan (major and medium irrigation 4.52 m.ha. and minor irrigation 4.29 m.ha). This gap has been increasing from Plan to Plan mainly due to,

  1. A lag of few years between the introduction of irrigation and its full utilisation (which is less in case of Minor Irrigation), is obvious due to time required for the construction of the distribution system as well as for switching over from rainfed agriculture to irrigated agriculture involving major changes in agricultural techniques which the farmers take time to master.
  2. The criteria/norms for reporting creation of irrigation potential and its utilisation adopted by the States are not uniform.
  3. The potential area which can be irrigated in a system depends on several variables including availability of distribution networks, the volume and seasonal pattern of water availability, conveyance losses, distribution and application on fields, the extent to which the conjunctive use is developed and the actual crop pattern on ground. In so far as the assumptions in respect of these parameters underlined in the project design are not actually realised in full, there is bound to be divergence between actual area irrigated and the potential created.

Sectoral Priority in Funding for Irrigation

4.2.9 The funding for the irrigation sector with respect to total State Plan size from the Fifth Plan onwards
has steadily been declining as indicated below : -

            Period                                       Irrigation funding as per cent of total State Plan

1.         Fifth Plan (1974-78)                                                                23.25%
2.         Sixth Plan(1980-85)                                                               20.85%
3.         Seventh Plan(1985-90)                                                           11.85%
4.         Eighth Plan(1992-97)                                                             18.48%
            (Approved outlay)
5.         1992-93(Actual expdr.)                                                          15.94%
6.         1993-94(RE approved)                                                           15.68%
7.         1994-95(approved)                                                                 15.21%
8.         1994-95(RE Approved)                                                           14.08%
9.         1995-96(Approved outlays)                                                     14.91%
10.       1996-97( -do- )                                                                       15.00% (anticipated)
11.        Eighth Plan                                                                          15.00% -do-

For Ninth Plan agreed outlay for the State sector and the UTs is Rs. 54149.86 crore which works out 14.48 per cent as inter-se percentage in State Plan. Besides, an outlay of Rs. 2291.25 crore is approved for Central sector under Ministry of Water Resources for the Ninth Plan.

4.2.10 In the Ninth Plan, agricultural growth at the rate of 4.5% has been envisaged. With the net sown area almost stagnant in the country at 140-141 m.ha., a further expansion of irrigation, including additional irrigation becoming available from the modernisation/renovation of irrigation capacities, is needed as a critical input in achieving the targeted growth rate of agriculture in the Ninth Plan.

Financing for Accelerated Completion of Projects

Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)

4.2.11 This was started in 1995-96 with a corpus of Rs.2000 crore under the aegis of NABARD to provide loans to the State Governments for financing rural infrastructure projects including irrigation, soil conservation and watershed management, etc. During the Annual Plans 1997-98 and 1998-99 for RIDF-III and RIDF-IV Rs.2500 crore and Rs. 3000 crore have been allocated. As per the latest status report (January 1998) out of RIDF-I (closure by 1997-98), a sum of Rs.1748.55 crore has been sanctioned to 20 States for 3517 irrigation projects/schemes (including 7 flood control schemes in Uttar Pradesh) covering total Culturable Command Area of 2.29 m.ha. and about 1382.27 crore has already been disbursed. Similarly, out of RIDF-II (closure by 1998-99), a sum of Rs.2617.88 crore has been sanctioned to 14 States for 3384 irrigation projects/schemes covering total CCA of 0.50 m.ha. and about 20% of the sanctioned amount has so far been disbursed under RIDF-III a total of 13561 schemes with Rs. 2321.27 crore have been sanctioned.

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)

4.2.12 This programme was launched in 1996-97 by the Government of India with an outlay of Rs.900 crore, subsequently revised to Rs.500 crore to accelerate the completion of selected ongoing irrigation projects in order that the envisaged benefits from locked investments in these projects are accrued. Initially, this programme had two components. The first component was designed to include major/multipurpose projects, each with the project cost exceeding of Rs.1000 crore and the project being beyond the resource capability of the States. The other component was for irrigation projects where, with just a little additional resource, the projects could be completed and farmers could get the assured water supply to the extent of one lakh ha. in the following 4 agricultural seasons or two agriculture years. Upon the revision of this cost criteria, now an irrigation project with its cost exceeding Rs.500 crore is eligible. The funding for AIBP is in the form of loan to the States on 50% matching basis. During the Annual Plan 1996-97, a sum of Rs.500 crore was released to various States and, as reported by the Ministry of Water Resources about 16180 ha. of additional irrigation potential has been created so far. During A.P. 1997-98 and A.P. 1998-99, the approved outlays under AIBP are Rs.1300 crore and Rs. 1500 crore respectively.

Improvement in Water Use Efficiency

4.2.13 Water use efficiency is presently estimated to be only 38 to 40% for canal irrigation and about 60% for ground water irrigation schemes. On the basis of 1991 census, our country's per capita water availability per year was estimated at 2214 cubic metres against the global average of 9231 cubic metres and 3020 Cub. M., 3962 Cub.M. and 4792 Cub. M. per year respectively for countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan. In 1990, India was ranked at the 42nd position among 100 countries by per capita water availability. In the total water use in 1990, the share of agriculture was 83%, followed by domestic use (4.5%), industrial use (2.7%) and energy (1.8%). The remaining 8 per cent was for other uses including environmental requirements. The projected total water demand by the year 2025 is around 1050 cubic kilometres against the country's utilisable water resources of 1140 cubic kilometres. The share of agriculture in total water demand by the year 2025 would be about 74 to 75 per cent. Thus, almost the entire utilisable water resources of the country would be required to be put to use by the year 2025 A.D. Irrigation, being the major water user, its share in the total demand is bound to decrease from the present 83% to 74% due to more pressing and competing demands from other sectors by 2025 A.D. and, as such, the question of improving the present level of water use efficiency in general and for irrigation in particular assumes a great significance in perspective water resource planning. It is estimated that a 10% increase in the present level of water use efficiency in irrigation projects, an additional 14 m.ha area can be brought under irrigation from the existing irrigation capacities which would involve a very moderate investment as compared to the investment that would be required for creating equivalent potential through new schemes. Thus, there is a need to improve the water use efficiency in most of the existing irrigation projects through modernisation, renovation and upgradation to realise optimum benefits on the one hand and mitigate the consequential side effects like waterlogging etc. on the other.

Per Capita Availability of Water in India

In 1990, India was ranked at the 42nd position amongst 100 countries by per capita water availability. On the basis of 1991 census, the country's per capita water availability per year was estimated at 2214 cubic meters against the global average of 9231 cubic meters


Improvement in Water Use Efficiency

On a rough basis, it is estimated that with a 10% increase in the present level of water use efficiency in irrigation systems, an additional 14m.ha area can be brought under irrigation from the existing irrigation capacities at a very moderate investment as compared to the investment that would be required for creating equivalent potential by way of new schemes.

4.2.14 To promote the process of improvement in water management through upgradation of the main systems of selected irrigation schemes the National Water Management Project(NWMP), an externally aided project (EAP), was implemented during the period 1987-95. The basic objective of the project was to improve the irrigation coverage and agricultural productivity and thereby increase the income of farmers in the command areas through a more reliable, predictable and equitable irrigation service. This project was implemented in 11 States of A.P., Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, M.P., Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Utter Pradesh, covering 114 Irrigation projects with a command area of about 3.348 m.ha. at a cost of Rs.587.81 crore at current prices. The IDA Credit was to finance about 73% of the total costs and the balance was to be met from the development budget of the participating States. With the implementation of this Project an overall improvement was found in terms of water management, productivity and farm income, etc. Increase in farm income in the 9 schemes on completion as a direct result of the Project ranged from 8% to 89%, the highest of 50% and 89% were in the tail end reaches of the projects which were essentially rainfed prior to NWMP. Although the project outcome has not been rated as satisfactory in terms of achievement of the target which was only about 15% completion of command at the time of termination of the scheme, this provided adequate feedback for the formulation of future strategy. Now, the Ministry of Water Resources has initiated follow-up action on NWMP-II with an estimated cost of Rs.2880 crore for 7 years.

Renovation and Modernisation of Projects

4.2.15 Increasing the effective irrigation area through timely renovation and modernisation of the irrigation and drainage systems, including reclamation of waterlogged and salinised irrigated lands through low-cost techniques, is needed to be considered especially in the context of the present resource constraints. It is estimated that about 21 m.ha of irrigated area from major and medium projects from pre-Independence period and those completed 25 years ago, require renovation/upgradation/ restoration to a great extent of the areas which have gone out of irrigation, either partly or fully, due to deterioration in the performance of the systems. The total investment involved is estimated at Rs.20,000 - 30,000 crore over a period of 20 years. Water Resource Consolidation Project (WRCP- 6 years duration) has also been ongoing in the States of Haryana (estimated cost - Rs.1442.12 crore), Tamilnadu (Rs.807 crore) and Orissa (Rs.1409.90 crore) during the Eighth Plan, in the post-NWMP-I period which also envisages, interalia, the completion of some incompleted major and medium projects and strengthening of institutions on the lines of Participatory Irrigation Management/ Irrigation Management Transfer (PIM/IMT). More States are expected to be covered under this programme during the Ninth Plan. Recently, an externally aided Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Project (Phase-III) has been taken up for modernisation/renovation of selected irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. Besides the above, Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Project Phase-II (1990-98), with an estimated cost of US $ 165 million and closing in March, 1998 and including components of all sectors of irrigation (major/medium/ minor, CAD and flood control) is also under implementation. This is aimed primarily at better water management and improved functioning to achieve optimum utilisation of water in Punjab, as the State has almost exhausted the exploitation of surface water. However, a greater push for modernisation/renovation of existing irrigation projects will be needed during the Ninth Plan period.

Renovation and Modernisation of Projects

It is estimated that about 21 m.ha of irrigated area from major and medium projects from pre-Independence period and those completed 25years ago, require renovation/upgradation/restoration to a great extent of the areas which have gone out of irrigation, either partly or fully, due to deterioration in the performance of the systems. The total investment involved is estimated at Rs.20,000 - 30,000 crore over a period of 20 years. In recent times, the Water Resource Consolidation Project (WRCP) has been taken up in the States of Haryana (estimated cost - Rs.1442.12crore), Orissa (Rs.1409.90 crore) and Tamilnadu (Rs.807 crore) which also envisages, interalia, the completion of some incompleted major and medium irrigation projects and strengthening of institutions on the lines of Participatory Irrigation Management/Irrigation Management Transfer (PIM/IMT). Such projects are expected to be taken up in more States during the Ninth Plan period.

International Cooperation

4.2.16 During the Eighth Plan, the externally aided irrigation projects, put together, accounted for 18% of total estimated cost of ongoing projects. The share of irrigation in the total external aid annually was around 7% to 8 per cent. However, the expenditure incurred on the externally aided major and medium projects during the first three years of the Eighth Plan was only 31% of the target. Thus, vigorous efforts to attract more external investments in irrigation sector as well as to improve the level of utilisation are the need of the hour especially against the backdrop of constraints in domestic funding. Apart from provision of inadequate level of funding as per provisions in the agreement, the other major reasons of the low level of utilisation of external assistance relate to the tendering procedure and its finalisation including insistence on global tender for the material/machinery which may be available in India, participation of NGOs in the land evaluation committees in the States leading to delays in finalising land acquisition proceedings, frequent review of R and R programme by making field visits and interrogating the oustees about their level of satisfaction which at time encourages them to ask for more and more facilities which, if not fulfilled, results even in stoppage of works and, sometimes, certain techno-economic issues requiring change in the scope of the project during execution although the agreement has been signed on the basis of detailed appraisal earlier etc.

Irrigation Water Charges

4.2.17 According to the National Water Policy (1987), water rate should be such as to convey its scarcity value to the users and motivate them in favour of efficient water uses, besides, at the same time, being adequate to cover annual maintenance and operation charges and recover a part of the fixed cost. Agricultural productivity per unit of water needs to be progressively increased in order to be able to compete with other higher value uses of water. Simultaneously, sound practices for irrigation revenue recovery by the appropriate agencies, even by institutional adjustments, need to be promoted. Most of the States have at present very low irrigation water rates at substantively varying levels and have not revised these for the last 2-3 decades. A few States had revised the water rates during 1981-86 but the revised rates in some cases had been withheld by the States Governments.

Irrigation Water Charges

According to the National Water Policy (1987), water rates should be such as to convey its scarcity value to the users and motivate them in favour of efficient water uses besides at the same time, being adequate to cover annual maintenance and operation charges and recover a part of the fixed cost. Agricultural productivity per unit of water needs to be progressively increased in order to be able to compete with higher value uses of water.

Most of the States have, at present, very low irrigation water rates at substantially varying level and have not revised for the last 2-3 decades. Most of the North-Eastern States (except Assam and Manipur), do not even charge any irrigation water rates. Maharashtra is the only State where the irrigation water rates are announced for a 5 years period at a time with a provision for 10% increase per annum so as to cover the full O and M cost as well as interest payable on the public deposits raised through irrigation bonds. The State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Orissa have revised the water rates recently.

Most of the north-eastern States (except Assam and Manipur)do not even charge any irrigation water rate. Maharashtra is the only State where the irrigation water rates are announced for a 5-year period at a time with provision for yearly escalation so as to cover the full O and M cost as well as the interest payable on the public deposits raised through Irrigation Bonds. The State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Orissa have revised the water rates recently. The position in respect of minor irrigation including ground water is also not encouraging.

4.2.18 The Tenth Finance Commission (1995-2000) have suggested the norms for O and M cost of works at the level of Rs.300 per ha. in case of utilised potential and Rs.100 per ha. for the unutilised potential with 30% increase for hilly areas and suitable increase for insulating inflation. Accordingly, the estimated total O and M cost per annum for the country would be about Rs.2500-3000 crore. Against this requirement, the O and M funds, being provided are actually less than even 1/4th with wide variation from State to State. This is one of the major reasons for the deterioration in the performance in terms of adequacy, timeliness and equity in the provision of irrigation water in the system.

4.2.19 A Water Pricing Committee, an internal group was set up by the Planning Commission in October, 1991 to study the pricing of irrigation water. Some of the salient features of the recommendations of this Committee are : treating water rates as user charge, the objective being ultimately to recover cost; linking revision of water rates with the improvement in the quality of service; revision and implementation of water rates in phases; consolidation of the system of farmer group management; upgrading the system to higher levels of efficiency in water use and productivity; switching over progressively to volumetric water rates structure; the setting up of "High Powered" autonomous boards at State level to review the policy, establish norms regarding maintenance costs, assess the actual expenditure and determine the parameters and criteria for raising water rates; mandatory review of all matters related to water pricing every five years, etc. Subsequently, to go into the recommendations of the above Committee, the Planning Commission constituted a Group of Officials under the chairmanship of Secretary, Planning Commission and members from selected States and concerned Government of India Ministries/Departments. The Group unanimously recommended that full O and M cost should be recovered in the phased manner i.e. over a 5 year period starting from 1995-96 taking into account the inflation also and that subsequently after achieving O and M level the individual States might review the status to decide on appropriate action to enhance the water rates to cover 1% of the capital cost also. In addition to the above, the setting up of Irrigation and Water Pricing Boards by all the States and mandatory periodic revision of water rates atleast every 5 years with an opportunity for users to present their views were also recommended. Further, the Group also recommended the formation of Water Users Associations and the transfer of the maintenance and management of irrigation system to them so that each system may manage its own finances both for O and M and eventually for expansion/improvement of facilities. During 9th Plan, all the states will have to be persuaded to implement the recommendations of the Group in a first phase of implementing the Water Pricing Committee's Report.

Private Sector Participation

4.2.20 Private sector participation involves not only the private corporate sector but also groups like farmers' organisations, voluntary bodies and the general public. About 90-95% of ground water development is by private efforts either through own financing or institutional financing or both. However in the case of surface water, especially major and medium projects, all the irrigation projects are not equally endowed with the potential for privatisation and, as such, identification of projects as a whole or partially (i.e. planning and investigation, Construction, operation and management financing and maintenance etc.) may have to be undertaken in the light of its viability vis-a-vis various privatisation options as available With hydel power generation and recreation, etc. along with irrigation, the viability for privatisation of a project improves.

Private Sector Participation

Some States like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have initiated the action for privatisation of irrigation projects. These projects are envisaged for privatisation on Build-Own-Operate (BOO), or Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) or Build-Own-Lease (BOL) basis. In the case of projects on BOO basis, the Irrigation Department may buy water in bulk from the agency at mutually agreed price for distribution to the farmers. Apart from this, Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) for Krishna Valley Projects, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL) for Sardar Sarovar Project in Gujarat and Jal Bhagya Nigam for Upper Krishna Project, Karnataka have mobilised financial resources through issue of Public Bonds from the private market.

4.2.21 Some States like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have initiated the action/process for privatisation of irrigation projects. These projects are envisaged for privatisation on build-own-operate (BOO), or build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) or Build-Own-Lease (BOL) basis. In the case of projects on BOO basis, the Irrigation Department may buy water in bulk from the agency at mutually agreed price for distribution to the farmers. Apart from this, Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) for Krishna Valley Projects, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nirman Ltd. (SSNNL) for Sardar Sarovar Project in Gujarat and Jal Bhagya Nigam for Upper Krishna Project, Karnataka have issued bonds for mopping up funds from the private market. On the basis of views expressed by the various States, in general, the following conclusions have emerged in this regard.

  1. The deliberations in the Workshop indicate that private sector participation in irrigation and multipurpose projects is feasible but selectively. Some procedural and legal changes are required to be undertaken in respect of clearances of projects and involvement of private sector investors in this regard. More specifically, some suggestions as indicated below in brief have been offered by the participants.
  2. Private sector participation could be thought of on BOL or BOLT basis for a specified period of say 10-30 years.
  3. While it may be more suitable for medium and minor projects, it could pose some problems in the case of major projects.
  4. Clearances such as forests, environment, resettlement and rehabilitation, acquisition of land etc., should be carried out by the Government departments.
  5. Concessions should be offered to private sector investors to augment their revenue. These may include tourism, water sports, navigation, moratorium on loans, tax concessions, etc.
  6. Distribution of water after bulk supply to Water Users" Associations should not be handled by private sector. The WUAs should be encouraged to be formed and they should manage distribution.
  7. Safety and sociological aspects should be looked into by the Government departments.
  8. There should be a guarantee on the return of investment of the private sector.
  9. In difficult terrains, there should be investment from the Government side also.
  10. While broad national policy guidelines on private sector participation may be framed by the Centre, details may be worked out by the States as suited to their conditions within the framework of such policy and guidelines.
  11. The obligations of the Government departments and the private sector should be clearly spelt out in the agreement for such participation. It should also include penalty clauses applicable to both the parties so that slippages do not occur in implementation.

Increase in Productivity

4.2.22 Improvement in agricultural productivity from irrigated agriculture is one of the main objectives of the CAD Programme. An analysis of Time series data on productivity in respect of selected projects under CAD Programme indicated, among others, that staple crops like paddy and wheat have registered an increase in productivity by 50% (Pench, Maharashtra) and 85% (Gurgaon, Haryana) respectively. Experience has shown that in most of the Commands, the main problems are lack of a single window delivery system, poor maintenance and water management of micro-networks, weak extension service for agricultural needs and near-absence of farmers' participation etc. As such, in most of the CAD projects, the implementation has been limited mainly to the construction of field channels.

Environmental Concerns in Water Resources Development

4.2.23 Human intervention in water resource sector is closely interlinked with the environmental issues. Substantial positive impacts of irrigation works have been found which include socio-economic, nutritional and health status, benefits from higher income, better and more secured production and supply of drinking water, etc. Hydro-power generation is also one of the important outputs through storage-based irrigation/ multipurpose projects, which are generally substantially cheaper than other conventional methods of power generation. However, some side-effects have also been noticed, important among these being water logging and salinisation, population displacement, risk of water borne diseases and loss of land for water development works. Over-exploitation of ground water results in depletion of water level and intrusion of saline water in coastal areas. Chemical pollutants from fertilizers, pesticides and industrial waste as also loss and change of flora and fauna habitat etc. are also other important side-effects, which affect the overall environmental system.

4.2.24 The growing environmental concerns attracted the attention of the world community and culminated in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio in June, 1992, which came out with Agenda-21 concerning the planning framework and envisaging a set of programmes needed to ensure the objective of economic growth with equity and environmental sustainability.

4.2.25 India is one of the few countries in the world which has been taking appropriate action to protect the environment for quite sometime. This includes the specific reference in the Constitution to the need for environmental protection. The main legislations enacted so far for the prevention and control of water pollution are as follows:

  1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act - 1974 and as amended in 1988.
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cell Act - 1977.
  3. The Forest Conservation Act - 1980(amended in 1992)
  4. The Environment Protection Act - 1986. (This is an "umbrella" type enactment to ensure enforcement of several Acts and Regulations already in existence, concerning environmental pollution control and safety and, interalia, includes water also as a subject).
  5. Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994.

4.2.26 Under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and Environmental Impact Assessment Notification (EEIA) of 1994, the State Governments/project authorities are required to submit Environmental Impact Assessment Statements (EIS) and Environmental Management Plans (EMP) in the context of getting environmental clearance to the projects. It is also mandatory to get clearance from forest angle, if any, in addition to environmental clearance. Certain environmental safeguards are stipulated wherever necessary and these have to be implemented by the project authorities along with the construction activities of the project. These are: preparation of Master Plan for Rehabilitation of Oustees, compensatory afforestation, alternatives in case of adverse effect on flora and fauna and wildlife etc, drainage and anti-water logging measures, identification of critically eroded areas in the catchment for soil conservation works and water quality etc. The environmental impact needs to be assessed periodically i.e. every 5 years, during the implementation of the project and the project implementation agency is required to submit half yearly report to the Impact Assessment Agency about status of implementation of the above measures.

4.2.27 The objective of Rehabilitation and Resettlement is that the oustees should get similar quality of life, if not better, as compared to the original habitation. Project-wise R and R implementation plans are prepared and implemented under strict supervision of the Ministry of Welfare. A national policy for R and R has also been formulated by the Government of India in consultation with the various States which encompasses Water Resources Development Sector also. This is in the process of finalisation.

Waterlogging and Drainage

4.2.28 The problem of waterlogging and soil salinity/alkalinity was noticed even during the sixties in a few major and medium irrigation projects. The problem has grown since then. The National Commission on Agriculture (1976) estimated that about 6 million ha. of land was affected by waterlogging, in both irrigated commands as well as in unirrigated lands. Out of this, an area of about 2.6 m.ha. was found to be affected due to higher water-table and 3.4 m.ha. due to surface run-off stagnation. The Working Group constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources in 1991 estimated that about 2.46 m.ha. in irrigated commands suffered from waterlogging. The States, where high water-table has been noticed, particularly are Punjab, U.P, some parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The areas with surface stagnation problem are mainly West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, U.P., Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. The Working Group also estimated that 3.30 m. ha. had been affected by salinity/alkalinity in the irrigated commands. It is reported that the spread of conjunctive use of groundwater with that of surface water, especially in Punjab, Haryana and parts of U.P., has substantially lowered the water-table and helped to contain waterlogging/salinity. But there has been no systematic or comprehensive survey undertaken so far. Waterlogging and salinity/alkalinity need to be tackled at two levels: (1) There should be a systematic survey to assess the extent, nature and location of the waterlogged and saline/alkaline lands in the existing project commands; and (2) a phased programme should be drawn up to reclaim such land in a cost-effective manner. Now, the activities related to removal of waterlogging and restoration of saline and alkaline areas in irrigated commands are included in the Centrally Sponsored Command Area Development Programme. This measure is expected to help tackle the above problems more effectively and on a large scale.

Conjunctive Use of Ground Water and Surface Water

4.2.29 The optimum development and utilisation of water resources can be achieved by conjunctive use of ground water and surface water resources. The National Water Policy emphasises that both surface and ground water should be viewed as an integrated resource and developed conjunctively in a coordinated manner and their conjunctive use should be envisaged right from the project planning stage. Tubewell schemes can be integrated with canal irrigation schemes by spacing them suitably along the drainage lines in the distribution area. With a view to promoting conjunctive use of ground water and surface water resources, the Central Water Commission, in consultation with the Central Ground Water Board, has prepared draft guidelines for planning conjunctive use of water resources in irrigation projects. Such type of conjunctive use helps considerably in preventing waterlogging and soil salinity/ alkalinity and also in providing adequate and assured irrigation water for crops, particularly of high yielding varieties.

Water Quality Monitoring

4.2.30 The Central Water Commission(CWC) is maintaining a large network of 877 hydrological observation stations in the key locations of the river basin systems of India for reliable assessment of the water resources of the country. Out of these, 319 stations distributed over all the major river basins, are also engaged in the water quality monitoring. Initially, the water quality monitoring of CWC was started with a limited objective of classification of water for irrigation and other related uses but presently, it also includes monitoring the rate of silt flows, chemical indices like sodium absorption ratio, sodium percentage, residual sodium carbonate and hardness number as well as other pollution parameters. However, the monitoring does not cover the municipal and industrial effluents. The CWC is also maintaining a three-tier laboratory system for analysis of the chemical parameters of water quality monitoring.

4.2.31 The ground water quality in India is being monitored by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) through a network of 14995 monitoring stations set up in different parts of the country. Changes in water quality have been observed in major agricultural and industrial belts and urban complexes as a result of over-use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides in agriculture and disposal of untreated waste from industries and urban cities. The ground water quality has also been affected in some parts of the country due to salinity ingress along the coastal area of some of the States like Saurashtra in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. For planning and management of ground water system, it is necessary to set up a national data bank, where all the important information, covering various facets of ground water will be available. It is necessary that the data from all the concerned organisations in the States as well as at the Centre are stored on uniform formats and there should be easy access to the processed data. This will also help avoid duplication in efforts and investment.

Regional Variations in Water Resource and Its Development

4.2.32 It is grossly a misplaced conception that India is a water-rich country and water is a cost-free commodity. Amongst 121 countries where per capita availability of annual renewable fresh water in the year 1990 was only more than 1695 cubic meters, India ranked at 108th position. Further, according to a number of studies conducted in India and abroad, India's per capita water availability status is likely to move from "marginally vulnerable" (as in 1990) down to "water scarcity" in the year 2025. In fact, India is likely to experience "water stress" from the year 2007 onwards. Such "water-stressed" situation will limit the growth of our development, besides leading to ecological degradation in our country. Unfortunately, so far the creation of public awareness for judicious use of water has not received its due attention and, as such, the launching of a national awareness campaign is now necessary.

4.2.33 The availability of surface water in various regions in the country is uneven with the north zone (Indus,Ganga and Brahmputra) having 77% of the country's water resource, the west-flowing rivers with 5%, the east-flowing rivers with 14% and the west-flowing rivers in Kerala with 3% only. Similar is the case with ground water which is quite abundant in the Indo-Gangetic Plain but scarce in the western region and in the south. If the ultimate irrigation potential through the major, medium and minor projects/schemes in the various regions is seen in relation to the cultivable area (Annexure-4.2.1, col.12) it is 116.60 per cent in the eastern region, 66.97 per cent in the north-eastern region 84.81 per cent in the northern region, 64.37 per cent in the southern region and 58.58 per cent in the western region. As against this scenario, the total creation of irrigation potential, as percentage of respective ultimate irrigation potential in these regions as anticipated at the end of the Eighth Plan works out to 53.24 per cent, 28.65 per cent, 95.32 per cent*, 54.59 per cent and 39.95 per cent respectively with 64 per cent at the national level. The above figures show that only the northern region is ahead of the national average.

Notes : 1. Regions : Eastern - Bihar, Orissa,Sikkim,West Bengal, North-Eastern- ArunachalPradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura; Northern-Haryana, HP, J and K, Punjab, Rajasthan and UP; Southern - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu; Western - Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, M.P.; 2. * The ultimate potential is under revision in the country.

Inter-basin Transfer

4.2.34 The distribution of water resource in the country shows that as against the national per capita (based on 1991 census) annual availability of 2214 cubic metres of water, the average availability in Brahmaputra river basin is as high as 18470 cu.m. while it is as low as 383 cu.m. in the basin of east-flowing rivers between Pennar and Kanya Kumari. Having 8% of the country's population, Rajasthan has just 1% of the country's water resource and thereby the per capita water use in Rajasthan (1991) is estimated to be only 562 cu.m., a level almost near to "absolute scarcity". On the other hand, about 40% of the utilisable surface water resource is in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghana system. With 5.9% of geographical area and 3.2% of population of the country, Brahmaputra sub-basin alone, has 29% of annual water resource. The per capita annual availability for the rest of the country, excluding Brahmaputra basin, works out to about 1500 cu.m. which falls under "water scarcity" category. The Cauvery, the Pennar, the Sabarmati and the east-flowing rivers are some of the basins which fall into the category of "scarcity conditions".

4.2.35 The Ministry of Water Resources (erstwhile Ministry of Irrigation) formulated a National Perspective for Water Development in 1980 comprising of two components - (1) Himalayan Rivers Development and (2) Peninsular River Development. The National Water Development Agency (NWDA), set up in 1982, has the mandate to study the feasibility of the National Perspective Plan. The scheme of National Perspective for Water Development, interalia, envisages the creation of irrigation potential for about 35 m.ha (25 m.ha from surface water and 10 m.ha from increased use of ground water) and hydropower generation of about 30,000 MW part of which would be in Nepal and Bhutan.

4.2.36 The Himalayan rivers component envisages storage on the main Ganga and the Brahmaputra rivers and their principal tributaries in India and in Nepal, so as to conserve the monsoon flow for flood control, hydro-power generation and irrigation. An inter-linked canal system is to be provided to transfer the surplus flows of the Kosi, Gandak and Ghagra to the west. In addition, the Brahmaputra-Ganga link is envisaged for augmenting dry weather flows to the Ganga. The envisaged benefits of this scheme include provision of irrigation to 22 mha in the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin in Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat besides providing 1120 cumecs (i.e., about 40,000 cusecs) to Calcutta Port and hydro-power generation of 13000 mega-watts in Nepal and India.

4.2.37 Under the peninsular rivers development component, it is proposed to transfer the surpluses from the Mahanadi to the Godavari and further from the Godavari to water-short rivers namely the Krishna, the Pennar and the Cauvery that would provide irrigation in drought areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The second component of the proposal is to divert a part of the waters of the west-flowing rivers of Kerala to the east for irrigating the drought areas of Tamil Nadu apart from covering new areas in Kerala. Another component is to inter-link the small rivers flowing along the west coast north of Bombay and south of the Tapi and to inter-link southern tributary of the Yamuna like the Ken and the Chambal. The proposed peninsular river development is expected to provide additional irrigation benefits of over 13 m.ha.

National Water Policy

4.2.38 The National Water Policy (NWP) was adopted by the National Water Resources Council, headed by the Prime Minister in its meeting held on 09.09.1987. The NWP recognises water to be prime natural resource, a basic human need and a precious national asset. Therefore, planning and development of water resources need to be governed by a national perspective. The intention of the NWP was to mark the territory in broad terms, so as to establish the need for a National Water Policy, and to give a broad outline of what the policy document needs to cover. The formulation of NWP is not a one-ime exercise but is to be kept constantly under review, thereby including within its purview more and more issues and areas of concern as they emerge. For a more effective operationalisation of the NWP stress would have to be placed on the following : -

  1. Watershed management, rain water harvesting and water saving practices should be an integral part of development and management of water resources at the basin level and while formulating water resources development projects. Also, Micro irrigation systems need to be promoted particularly in arid regions where water is scarce and the topographic and soil conditions do not permit efficient irrigation by conventional methods;
  2. Drainage is to be an integral part of the irrigation system, particularly, when perennial irrigation is contemplated;
  3. The Management of irrigation systems by farmers should also cover water rights and the need for establishing and regulating them.
  4. Since water markets are expanding, there is a need to develop and enforce guidelines for their operation.
  5. During the Ninth Plan period, the pricing of water for various uses including agriculture should be rationalised in a phased manner so as to at least fully recover the Operation and Maintenance Cost.
  6. Policy framework or guidelines on the criteria for inter-State river water allocation among the basin states should be evolved.
  7. Both demand and supply for water resources should be assessed on the basis of agro-ecological-irrigation zones, cropping systems and other uses within a dynamic time- frame;
  8. Conjunctive use of surface and ground water should be encouraged by making adequate energy available to farmers;
  9. The role and responsibility of various agencies and organisations involved in water resources development and utilisation should be clearly defined. Appropriate infrastructure should be developed to promote proper linkages among them;
  10. Involvement of farmers' organisations, such as, Water Users' Associations should be increased in respect of decisions on cropping systems, planning and implementation of water release schedules, collection of water rates, maintenance of irrigation systems, etc. Assistance of voluntary agencies/NGOs should be enlisted in this task. A gender dimension should be integrated in all decisions relating to water use. The new paradigm of water use management should include important parameters such as, efficiency, ecology, equity and employment in addition to economics of energy-use efficiency;
  11. In view of increasing demand for water, there is a need to augment the resource through inter-basin transfers, artificial recharge of aquifers, use of marginal quality water, conjunctive use of surface and ground water, rain water harvesting in rainfed areas, watershed development, adoption of water saving practices etc.
  12. In order to ensure sustained availability of ground water, average annual withdrawal should not exceed average annual recharge. Ground water of marginal quality could be used advantageously in combination with good quality of water or for alternate irrigations.
  13. The existing law on water quality needs to be effectively implemented for prevention of pollution of surface and ground water. Ground water pollution being more serious and hazardous, as compared to surface water pollution, would require special institutions for preventing and abating pollution.
  14. The Prime Minister while addressing the Nation on 22nd March 1998 indicated that the Government would go all out to achieve five goals which include " unveiling a National Water Policy" so that no water goes waste and our water resources are cleaned up. Appropriate action in this regard has already been initiated.

High Power Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development Plan

4.2.39 The Government of India constituted a High Power Commission in September 1996 for Integrated Water Resources Development Plan to take a holistic view of the overall water resources in the country and maximise the availability and its utilisation including consideration of inter-basin transfers. Presently, the Member-Secretary, Planning Commission is the Chairman of the Commission. The terms of reference of the above Commission are as follows : -

  1. To prepare an integrated water plan for the development of water resources for drinking, irrigation, industrial, flood control and other uses;
  2. To suggest the modalities for transfer of surplus water to water-deficit basins by inter-linking of rivers for achieving the above objectives;
  3. To identify important ongoing projects, as well as new projects, which should be completed on priority basis, together with phasing;
  4. To identify a technological and inter-disciplinary research plan for the water sector with a view to maximise the benefits;
  5. To suggest physical and financial resource generation strategies for the water sector; and
  6. Any other related issue.

The report of the Commission is in advance stage of preparation.

High Power Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development Plan

The Government of India constituted a High Power Commission in September 1996 for Integrated Water Resources Development Plan to take a holistic view of the overall water resources in the country and maximise the availability and its utilisation including consideration of inter-basin transfers. Presently, the Member-Secretary, Planning Commission is the Chairman of the Commission. The report of the Commission is in advance stage of preparation.

Role of Cooperatives

4.2.40 There is general consensus in favour of the turn-over of irrigation schemes on the principles of "Irrigation Management Transfer" or "Participatory Irrigation Management". The term "turn-over" means the transfer of responsibility and authority for irrigation management from the government agency to irrigators associations. A number of States have already initiated action in this regard. Cooperatives can play a vital role in sustainable development and management of irrigation works in general and ground water resources in particular. Given the small size of the holdings in the country, cooperative ownership can help in expanding the irrigation development, including fulfilling the eligibility criterion in respect of size of land for institutional funding and management of ground water resources in the coming years. The ground water development programme in the country is primarily (around 95%) sustained with the financial investment by the farmers themselves or though institutional finances or both. The public sector outlay is limited to only such items as ground water surveys, construction of public tubewells, services provided and grants extended to small farmers etc. Large public tubewells are operated and maintained by the Government agencies and corporations of the State Governments. Integrated Approach for Flood Management

4.2.41 Flood Management Schemes have to be planned within the framework of an integrated long-term plan and in conjunction, where appropriate, with the plans for other areas of water resource development such as irrigation, power and domestic water supply. This will help improve the efficacy of flood control schemes as well as their economic viability. The Central Government has set up the Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC) and the Brahmputra Board for comprehensive planning of flood control in the Ganges and the Brahmaputra sub-basins. The GFCC and the Brahmaputra Board have prepared Master Plans for these sub-basins which are at pre-feasibility stage. Considerable follow-up action is required for detailed investigations of the suggested measures and for detailed study of the techno-economic viability, including operationalisation.

Flood Plain Zoning Regulation

4.2.42 The question of introducing Flood Plain Zoning both in flood protected as well as the unprotected areas, has been under consideration for quite a long time, The Government of India prepared a Model Bill for Flood Plain Zoning and circulated it to all the States for action in the 70s. So far, only Manipur has enacted the legislation in September, 1978 and started its implementation from December, 1985. Some States like M.P. have accepted it in principle but the legislation is yet to come. The legislation is also under active consideration of the Governments of Rajasthan, West Bengal and Bihar. Further, the Government of India has tkaen, the initiative in preparing the survey maps in the scale of 1:15000 with 0.5 M contour of the flood plain areas through Survey of India and an area of about 54740 sq.km. has been surveyed upto March, 1991. These maps are for the use by the States for preparation of flood risk maps.

Ninth Plan Proposals

4.2.43 Based on the proposals by the States and the Ministry of Water Resources the Annexures-4.2.2 and 4.2.3 have the details of the financial and physical programmes during the Ninth Plan. The physical programme is summed up as below:-


(In million ha.)


Projected Target for Ninth Plan
Potential Potential
Creation Utilisation






1. Irrigation Potential Creation

(a) Major and Medium





The ultimate irrigation potential through minor surface irrigation and ground water which were 15m.ha and 40 m.ha. respectively are under revision to 17.38 m.ha. and 64.05m.ha.

(b) Minor Irrigation









Status of Creation of Irrigation Potential at the end of 8th Plan

4.2.44 It would be seen, from the Table below, that out of the 16 major States, 3 have already achieved 70% or more of the ultimate irrigation potential with Tamil Nadu recording 100% achievement, followed by Punjab and Rajasthan at 84% and 74% respectively. Six States, i.e., Haryana, Karnata, Jammu and Kashmir, and West Bengal are in the range of 63% to 71%, whereas in U.P. and Maharashtra, the achievement would be 56% each. The States of Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, M.P. and Assam have achieved less than 50% of the ultimate potential. The ultimate potential under major and medium irrigation in the eastern States(except West Bengal), i.e. Bihar, U.P., M.P. and Orissa put together works out to about 50% of the total ultimate potential of the country. However, their achievement upto the end of the Eighth Plan is 45% of the ultimate potential of these States, put together. The State-wise details of irrigation potential development vis-a-vis ultimate potential through major and medium schemes are indicated in Annexure-4.2.4 and have been summarised in Table-4.2.3 below : -

                           TABLE 4.2.3
Major  and  Medium Irrigation anticipated Achievement upto the end of 8th Plan
(Thousand ha.)
Sl.  	State	Ult.        Ach.        Addl.     Total	    % of 
no.		Irrgn.      to the      Ach.      Ach.       Deve.  
                Pot.        end of      during    to end of  at the 
                            A/P 92-93  	8th Plan  8th Plan   end of 
                1991-92     (Anti) 	(Anti) 	             8th Plan 
1    2                    3       4          5        6         7 
1 Andhra Pradesh        5000     2999     46.10  3045.10     61 
2 Arunachal Pradesh       -        -        -        -      - 
3 Assam           	   970      176     20.67   196.67     20 
4 Bihar                  6500    2766     36.50  2802.50     43  
5 Goa                      62      13       0.02    13.02     21 
6 Gujarat                 3000 *  1246     104.00  1350.00    45     
7 Haryana                 3000    2035      43.79  2078.79    69 
8 Himachal Pradesh          50       8       2.55    10.55    22  
9 Jammu  and  Kashmir          250     158      15.70   173.70    69  
10 Karnataka               2500 *  1377     289.02  1666.02    67  
11 Kerala                  1000     416      97.31   513.31    51  
12 Madhya Pradesh          6000    1962     355.60  2317.60    39  
13 Maharashtra             4100    2030     283.00  2313.00    56 
14 Manipur                  135      59       4.00    63.00    38 
15 Meghalaya                 20     -           -       -        -
16 Mizoram                   **     -           -       -        -
17 Nagaland                  10     -           -       -        -
18 Orissa                  3600    1409     148.75  1557.75    43 
19 Punjab                  3000    2367     145.85  2512.85    84 
20 Rajasthan               2750 *  1999     274.88  2273.88    83 
21 Sikkim                    20     -          -        -        -
22 Tamil Nadu              1500 *  1545       0.51  1545.51   103 
23 Tripura                  100       2       0.30     2.30     2 
24 Uttar Pradesh          12500    6806     253.00  7059.00    56 
25 West Bengal             2300    1353      91.08  1444.08    63 
   Union Territories         98      15       3.51    18.51    19 
           Total           58465   30741    2216.13 32956.83    56 

* States have indicated that the actual would be more ; ** included in UT

4.2.45 The cost of creation of irrigation potential per ha. through the successive Five Year Plans at
current as well as at 1980-81 constant prices has been steeply escalating as shown in Table 4.2.4.: -

Table 4.2.4

Cost of creation of Irrigation Potential (per ha.)

(in Rupees)

Plan Period                                                                  Cost of creation
                                                                (at current prices)         (at constant prices of 1980-81)

First Plan (1951-56)                                               1200                              8620
Second Plan (1956-61)                                          1810                              9289
Third Plan (1961-66)                                              2526                              10289
Annual Plans (1966-69)                                         2893                              8313
Fourth Plan (1969-74)                                            4758                             11060
Fifth Plan (1974-78)                                               6075                              9074
Annual Plans (1978-80)                                         10940                           14111
Sixth Plan (1980-85)                                             21610                            18771
Seventh Plan (1985-90)                                         50000                            31475
Annual Plans (1990-92)                                         66570                             29587

Source : Report of the Working Group on Major and Medium Irrigation Programme for the 9th Plan (para 1.3)

4.2.46 The above would show that a substantial increase in cost has taken place from the Sixth Plan onwards which is mainly due to introduction of the extension and distribution system upto 5-8 ha. block, the cost of rehabilitation and resettlement, environmental

Increase in cost of creation of irrigation potential

The available data indicate that a substantial increase has taken place in the Cost of creation of irrigation potential per hectare from the Sixth Plan onwards which is mainly due to introduction of the extension and distribution system upto 5-8 ha. block, the cost of rehabilitation and resettlement, environmental and Forest aspects, inclusion of the cost of catchment area treatment and inclusion of drainage system in the command of irrigation projects and increase in establishment costs etc.

and forest aspects, inclusion of the cost of the catchment area treatment and drainage system in the command of the irrigation projects and increase in establishment costs, etc. However, studies indicate that by clubbing some of the above activities together, the costs overrun, primarily due to change in the scope of the project (35 to 43% of total increase in cost due to this factor alone in some selected projects); rise in the lumpsum provisions, which include, besides others, the R and R activities (40 to 47% of total increase in the revised estimate of some selected projects); increase due to price rise/inflation which varied from 8% to 63% of the total increase in a period of 2 to 20 years in the sample of 11 projects and increase due to change in design (about 38% of the total increase in a selected project was due to this factor), etc.

4.2.47 The number of major and medium schemes which were taken up in various Plan periods are indicated in Table-4.2.5.


No. of major and medium schemes taken up in various Plan

		Plan Period                  Major           Medium
   		First Plan                   44              169 
    		Second Plan                  33              102 
    		Third Plan                   32               44 
    		Annual Plans (1966-69)       11               30 
    		Fourth Plan (1969-74)        32               73 
    		Fifth Plan (1974-78)         70              300 
		Annual Plans (1978-80)       13               52 
    		Sixth Plan (1980-85)         30               91 
    		Seventh Plan (1985-90)       12               33 
   		 Annual Plans (1990-92)      1                 -      
    		Eighth Plan (1992-97)        14               50      
       			   Total            292              944 

Source : Working Group Report for Major and Medium Irrigation Projects for Ninth Plan.

4.2.48 During the Fifth Plan (1974-78), 70 new major and 300 medium schemes were taken up, although 97 major and 130 medium schemes were already under implementation in 1974. Thereafter also, the tendency to start more and more new projects continued unabated, which resulted in a thin spreading of the available limited financial resources. However, later on during the Seventh and the Eighth Plans, as a strategy, only a few new major and medium projects were taken up and greater emphasis was laid on the completion of ongoing projects as a first charge on the available resources.

Sedimentation in Reservoirs

4.2.49 Sedimentation of reservoirs is a natural phenomenon. The surveys conducted during last three decades have indicated that the sedimentation rates in some of the reservoirs are higher than those envisaged at the planning stage. The variation is due to the fact that enough reliable data on Indian reservoirs were not available earlier at the planning stage. In view of the above, the present design practice (followed progressively since 1965) incorporates the sediment inflow rates based on the reservoir survey data as well as actual observed sediment inflow data. On the basis of Capacity Survey data of 46 reservoirs, it is seen that the sedimentation rate of reservoirs vary significantly and is affected by hydrometereology, physiography and climate etc. Considering these factors the whole country has been classified into 7 regions (viz. Himalayan region, Indo-Gangetic Plains, East-flowing rivers excluding the Ganga upto the Godavari, Deccan Peninsular east-flowing rivers including Godavari, West-flowing rivers upto Narmada, Narmada - Tapi basin and West flowing rivers) and sedimentation rates have been determined to serve as the broad guidelines.

4.2.50 Oflate, there has been some apprehensions about the higher rates of sedimentation in reservoirs and this has led to the feeling that these may not last for their planned life. But the analysis of data collected for various reservoirs shows that the sedimentation rates are not so high. The data also show that the sedimentation rates are higher during the initial 15-20 years of their operation and thereafter it has fall on significantly. Even some of the reservoirs, which have completed their planned life, are still continuing to serve and provide partial benefits. However, better operation and management may still improve the situation for which there is a need for continued hydrographic surveys at regular intervals which would provided useful feedback for better sedimentation planning of future reservoirs.

Financial and Physical Performance during Eighth Plan

4.2.51 Out of the total outlay approved for the Irrigation sector including CAD and Flood Control, for the Eighth Plan, about 70% was for major and medium projects, of which 80% was for the completion of ongoing major and medium projects and Extension, Renovation and Modernisation (ERM) projects. Overall, the actual expenditure during the Eighth Plan was around the approved outlay for the irrigation sector. The State-wise break-up given in Annexure-4.2.5 shows that major States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Haryana, J and K, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have incurred more expenditure than the approved outlays while in the major eastern States, which are already lagging behind the national average of 56% in terms of creation of irrigation potential, the level of actual expenditure was quite low as compared to the approved outlays, with Bihar at 43%, Orissa - 40% and U.P. 64% of the approved outlay.

4.2.52 As many as 176 major project including 103 started prior to and during the Fifth Plan period and 283 medium irrigation projects were ongoing at the beginning of the Eighth Plan. Against the Eighth Plan target of 80 major and 253 medium irrigation projects, only 44 major, 100 medium and 45 ERM irrigation projects were expected to have been completed during the Eighth Plan. Consequently, at the beginning of the Ninth Five Plan, there are, in the category of ongoing projects, as many as 119 major projects with an aggregate spillover cost of Rs.35300 crore, 176 medium projects with a spillover cost of Rs.2200 crore and 67 ERM projects with a spillover cost of Rs.3800 crore, i.e., with a total of Rs.41300 crore involving an additional irrigation potential of about 7.2 m.ha. Further, the additional irrigation potential created during the Eighth Plan period has 1.95 m.ha. as against the target of 5.088 m.ha. As many as 16 major States recorded shortfall in achieving the Eighth Plan target. These are Andhra Pradesh (89%) Assam (77%), Bihar (88%), Gujarat (77%), Haryana (85%), J and K (30%), Karnataka (28%), Kerala (57%), M.P.(24%) Maharashtra (29%),Orissa (55%),Punjab (19%), Rajasthan (86%), Tamil Nadu (44%), U.P. (58%) and West Bengal (47%).

Completion of Ongoing Major and Medium Projects

4.2.53 Under the "Special Action Plan", the target is to complete such ongoing major and medium irrigation projects those are in advance stage of completion. These projects would be provided additional financial support under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme and Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of NABARD. These projects would yield additional irrigation potential during Ninth Plan



4.2.54 The reassessed ultimate irrigation potential in the country through minor irrigation is tentatively estimated at 81.43 million hectare (m.ha.) comprising of 17.38 m.ha from surface water schemes and 64.05 m.ha from ground water schemes (against the earlier UIP of 55 m.ha which include 15 m.ha. for minor surface water schemes and 40 m.ha. form ground water). During the Seventh Plan period the potential created was of the order of 9.09 mha. (l.82 mha per annum) and utilisation was 7.87 m.ha. The additional potential created and utilised under minor irrigation during the Eighth Plan period is anticipated to be 6.25 m.ha (l.25 m.ha per annum) and 5.78 m.ha respectively against the corresponding the Eighth Plan targets of l0.7l mha. and 9.36 mha. Thus, the potential created through minor irrigation at the end of the Eighth Plan is anticipated to be 56.60 m.hectares. Hence, the balance potential available at the beginning of the Ninth Plan works out to 24.83 m.ha which is about 30.5 per cent of the reassessed ultimate minor irrigation potential. During the decade l985-86 to l994-95 the average cost (at current price) of creation of potential per ha. has escalated from Rs.6022 in l985-86 to Rs.ll804 in l992-93 and further to Rs.l3790 in l994-95. The present cost is likely to be around Rs.l8000 per hectare. The year-wise potential created and potential utilised during the Eighth Plan period are given in Table 4.2.6.

                                      Table 4.2.6.                           	
										(in mha.)
        Year        Potential   created             Potential      Utilised
                    Target    Achieved/Anticipated   Target   Achieved/Anticipated  
        VIII Plan              l0.7l			   9.36         
        l992-93     2.00       	l.24            1.80       l.19       
        l993-94     l.98       	l.09      	l.74       0.92        
        l994-95     2.05        1.35       	1.63       l.30        
        l995-96     l.59       	l.48       	l.29       l.44        
        l996-97     l.62     	l.07            l.32       0.92           
                    9.24       	6.23            7.78          5.77     
                      say   6.25                              5.78  

State-wise Performance

4.2.55 State-wise statistics of physical achievement are given in Annexure-4.2.6. To the total minor irrigation potential created during the Eighth Plan period, Uttar Pradesh was the major contributor followed by West Bengal, Bihar, M.P., A.P. and Orissa. These six States together accounted for about 88.67 per cent of the potential created during the Eighth Plan period, whereas the States of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka together contributed only about 5 per cent. To the total utilisation of irrigation potential created during the Eighth Plan period, the largest contributor was UP, followed Bihar, West Bengal, A.P., Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.

Plan Outlays and Expenditure

4.2.56 The minor irrigation schemes are funded from Plan funds, institutional finance and private investments of user-farmers. It is generally considered as a people's programme as the Plan funds form only a small portion of the total investment for its development. The following Table 4.2.7 indicates the outlays and actual expenditure (Central Sector and State Sector) for minor irrigation during the Eighth Plan :

                     Table 4.2.7  
Outlays and Actual Expenditure on Minor Irrigation during Eighth Plan 
       in Central Sector and State Sector
                                                         (Rs. in crore)         
        Plan              Central      Sector   State         Sector   
                        Approved  Actual/Ant. 	Approved     Actual/Ant.
                         Outlay       Exp.     	Outlay          Exp.        
        8th Plan(92-97)  293.00      213.16    	5684.26       6230.62        
        l992-93           50.73       15.07    	l037.50        994.60        
        l993-94           48.00       70.9l    	1174.63       1094.83       
        l994-95           65.38       34.30   	1347.83       1185.15       
        l995-96           59.00       32.07    	l46l.l5       1408.08        
        l996-97           82.64       60.81    	l633.79       1547.97     

4.2.57 The actual expenditure under Central sector during the Eighth Plan was 73 per cent of the approved outlay whereas in the case of State Sector it was l06 per cent. The highest approved outlay was in the case of Bihar (Rs.l02l crore) followed by MP (Rs.728 crore), Maharashtra (Rs.612 crore), U.P. (Rs.400 crore), Orissa (Rs.389 crore), West Bengal (Rs.370 crore) and Karnataka (Rs.307 crore). However, the actual (antici-pated) expenditure was the highest in the case of Maharashtra (Rs.l571.23 crore) followed by M.P.(Rs.634.50 crore), Gujarat (Rs.441.22 crore), U.P. (Rs.351.01 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs.370.08 crore), Orissa (Rs.367.68 crore) and Karnataka (Rs.307.80 crore). In the case of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J and K, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and U.P., the anticipated total expenditure during the Eighth Plan period exceeded the approved outlay (Annexure –4.2.7).

Institutional Finance

4.2.58 Institutional finance plays an important role in implementation of the minor irrigation programme. The Land Development Banks, State Cooperative Banks, NABARD and Commercial Banks provide credit facilities to the farmers and institutions for development of minor irrigation facilities. Normally, the credit is provided directly to the beneficiaries by the banks. Under the second type of loans the refinancing facilities by NABARD are availed by the banking institutions for providing in turn, credit to the farmers/institutions. The institutional investment in minor irrigation increased from Rs.50l crore in l985-86 to Rs.650 crore in l989-90, Rs.8ll.50 crore in 1992-93 and Rs.l003.57 crore in l994-95. The investment during l996-97 is estimated at Rs.l440 crore. It is anticipated that the total institutional investment during the Eighth Plan period would be around Rs.533l crore as per the details in respect of selected States given below :

4.2.59 Bulk, i.e., around 71%, of the total institutional investment made during the Eighth Plan was
accounted for by Andhra Pradesh (Rs.l342 crore), followed by Maharashtra (Rs.1135 crore),
UP (Rs.807 crore), and Tamil Nadu (Rs.526 crore). Selected State-wis
e details in this regard
are given in Table 4.2.8.

                          Table 4.2.8
     Flow of Institutional Investment in Minor Irrigation
                                            (Rs.in crore) 
        Name of the State             Anticipated Investment        
                                        during Eighth Plan      
        Andhra Pradesh           	   1342.21          
        Gujarat                             209.54         
        Haryana                             l50.l2         
        Karnataka                           344.97          
        Kerala                              l74.7l          
        Madhya Pradesh                      l5l.00           
        Maharashtra                        ll35.38          
        Rajasthan                           263.94           
        Tamil Nadu                          525.75         
        Uttar Pradesh                       807.l6         
        Total All States                   5329.07         
        Total UTs                             l.62         
         Total All India                   5330.69        

Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics

4.2.60 Minor Irrigation schemes are very large in number and scattered in locations and these are implemented by various Government departments/organisations and private agencies and individuals. In view of the multiplicity of agencies involved in development of minor irrigation programme and lack of proper coordination among them, reliable data on minor irrigation potential and its utilisation is necessary. In order to tackle this problem, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics was launched in l987-88, envisaging the conduct of a census of minor irrigation works on quinquennial basis. The first census with reference to l986-87 was conducted in all the States/UTs except Rajasthan. The national level report of the census could be published only in November,l993 due to delay in completion of the census work in some of the States. The second census with reference to l993-94 is already in progress and most of the States have completed the field work. The data is likely to be available soon.

Minor Irrigation Statistics

In view of the multiplicity of agencies involved in development of minor irrigation programme in the States and lack of adequate coordination among them, the data on minor irrigation potential and its utilisation needs to be further improved as well as updated at regular periodicity for its publication. To address this problem, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics has been in operation since l987-88, envisaging the conduct of a census of minor irrigation works on quinquennial basis.

Minor Irrigation Tanks

4.2.61 The first census (1986-87) of Minor Irrigation schemes showed that there were 5,07,212 minor irrigation tanks in use in the country (except Rajasthan where no census was done). The southern region consisting of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, accounted for about 60% of the irrigated area under tanks in the country. Besides these, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, U.P. and West Bengal also have a large number of tanks in their respective States. The above eight States account for about 97% of total tank population. A fresh census is needed to be made to update the data alongwith improvement both quality and scope-wise.

4.2.62 While precise statistics of tanks that have gone out of use due to various reasons are not presently available, the figures show that in 1962-63, the area under tank irrigation reached an all-time high of 47.8 lakh ha. which came down to 30.71 lakh ha. in 1985-86 inspite of addition of thousands of new tanks during this period. It clearly indicates that the upkeep of the tanks has not been attended to properly. From the planning point of view, the estimation is of importance that if just 3% of total land area is used for making such tanks/ponds, it can usefully store about 10% of our total rainfall, i.e., about 400 billion cubic meter (BCM) of water per year.

4.2.63 The basic strategy for development and optimum utilisation of minor irrigation works during the Ninth Plan will be as under : -

Minor Irrigation Tanks

The first census (1986-87) of Minor Irrigation schemes showed that there were 5,07,212 minor irrigation tanks in use in the country (except Rajasthan where no census was done). The southern region consisting of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, accounted for about 60% of the irrigated area under tanks in the country. Besides these, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, U.P. and West Bengal also have a large number of tanks in their respective States. The above eight States account for about 97% of total tank population. A fresh census is needed to be made to update the data alongwith improvement both quality and scope-wise.

  1. Restoration and improvement of minor irrigation tanks as well as the development of new works as a part of the integrated micro-development projects will be encouraged.
  2. Priority should be accorded to the completion of ongoing schemes and the taking up of new irrigation schemes should be within the availability of financial resources and with the priority for drought-prone areas.
  3. Formulation of ground water development strategies should be based on sound technical, environmental and economic considerations. Over-exploitation of ground water should be discouraged and necessary corrective measures in this regard should be implemented.
  4. Periodic evaluation of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of ground water development will be carried out to ascertain the changes between pre and post implementation stage of ground water schemes.
  5. Census of ground water extraction structures once in five years and a programme for rehabilitation of ground water structures will be taken up.
  6. Involvement of community organisations and NGOs in the management of ground water should be encouraged through legal, financial and policy backups.
  7. The overall efficiency of the pumping system will be improved so as to conserve energy and optimise water use.
  8. The installation of sprinklers/drip irrigation system should be emphasised, particularly, in water-scarce and drought-prone areas. Necessary changes in cropping patterns, as well as crop diversification, should also be encouraged in favour of low water consuming crops, in lieu of water-intensive crops, particularly in water- scarce areas.
  9. Conjunctive use of surface and ground water should be encouraged.
  10. There is a need to create public awareness on the quality and judicious use of ground water. Such awareness is also essential to take regulative measures for ground water development and management.
  11. Encouragement should be given to privately or cooperatively owned/managed tubewells vis-a-vis public owned/managed tubewells.



4.2.64 Ground water plays a crucial role in agricultural development of our country. With the advent of high-yielding varieties and the emphasis on spread of modern technology, the importance of adequate, timely and assured irrigation in accelerating agricultural production has been recognised in the successive development Plans. The contribution of ground water resource to irrigated agriculture, with about 17 million energised wells nationwide, is now as high as around 50 per cent. The share of ground water irrigation is nearly half of total irrigated area in the country and with its higher agricultural productivity, the ground water irrigation contributes significantly to the country's total agricultural output. In addition, ground water is the primary source of water availability in drought years. Nearly 80 per cent of rural water supply and over 50 per cent of urban and industrial water supply demand is met from ground water resource.

4.2.65 As per the re-assessment recently made by the Ministry of Water Resources, the total annual utilisable ground water resource of the country is tentatively placed at 43.l9 million hectare metres (mhm). Besides the provision of 7.09 mhm (16.4%) for domestic, industrial and other uses, the ground water resource available for irrigation comes to 36.08 mhm, of which the utilisable quantity is 32.47 mhm, i.e., about 90%, with which the total irrigation potential is estimated at 64.05 million hectares (mha.). The stage of creation of irrigation potential through ground water development upto the Eighth Plan has been about 70 per cent of the ultimate irrigation potential which shows that there is considerable scope for further development of this resource in a judicious manner. In this regard, CGWB has assessed that there is a feasibility of installing 9.1 million ground water structures (6.4 million dug wells, 2.6 million shallow tubewells and 0.1 million deep tubewells in the Eastern region of the country. The availability of replenishable ground water potential in this region and the above structures put together can provide irrigation potential of about 20 m.ha. out of which about 14 m.ha. is from shallow and deep tubewells.

4.2.66 During the last four decades, there has been a phenomenal increase in the growth of ground water extraction structures in the country. During the period l95l-l992, the number of dug wells increased from 3.86 million to l0.l2 million, that of shallow tubewells from a mere 3000 to 5.38 million and public tubewells from 2400 to 68000. Similarly, the number of electric pumpsets increased from 21000 to 9.34 million and diesel pumpsets from 66000 to about 4.59 million. Further, it is anticipated that l.l6 million dug wells, l.l4 million shallow tubewells and one lakh deep tubewells have been added during the Eighth Plan period. Similarly, the number of electric pumpsets and diesel pumpsets is anticipated to have increased by 2.02 and 0.4 million respectively during this period.

4.2.67 Out of the 7063 Blocks/Mandals/Talukas/Watersheds in the country, 283 have been categorised as 'Over-exploited', which is also known as "Red" blocks, i.e. the stage of ground water development exceeds the annual replenishable limit and l45 are 'Dark' i.e. the stage of ground water development is more than 85 per cent. Further an analysis shows that during the period 1984-85 to 1992-93, the number of "over exploited" and "Dark" blocks had increased from zero to 30 in Andhra Pradesh, from 6 to 26 in Gujarat, from 31 to 51 in Haryana, from 3 to 18 in Karnataka, from zero to 3 in Madhya Pradesh, from 64 to 70 in in Punjab, from 21 to 56 in Rajasthan and from 61 to 97 in Tamil Nadu. Whereas it decreased in Bihar from 14 to 1 and in U.P. from 53 to 31. Thus in the above 10 States the overall increase in "over-exploited" and 'Dark' blocks during the period (1984-93) in the country was from 253 to 383, which is about 51% and this works out to a compound growth rate of about 5.5% per annum. If this trend and the rate of over-exploitation continues, it is estimated that by 2020 A.D. about one-third of the total of the 4272 blocks

(excluding Mandals/Talukas/Watersheds) listed as above may turn "Red" or over-exploited and "Dark".
In this situation, regulation of ground water extraction has become imperative.

Regulation of Ground Water Extraction

4.2.68 To avert this situation it is necessary that ground water development is regulated on a scientific basis that permits only judicious development of the resource. The control, so far being exercised, was in the form of indirect administrative measures by institutional finance like technical clearance of the scheme by authorised ground water Departments in various States who in turn would look into the water availability aspects and some spacing criteria between two ground water structures. The other methods of indirect control could be the denial of power connection for the pumpsets and/or loans from banks.

4.2.69 To ensure regulation of ground water in a scientific manner, the Government of India had prepared a model bill in 1970. Subsequently, the same was revised in 1992 by incorporating the comments from a few States and circulated to all the States in June, 1996 but only a few States like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and U.T. of Pondicherry and Karikal and Maharashtra have enacted ground water legislation and that too for a particular area or for a limited purpose in their States, whereas a few others are still contemplating. In the meanwhile, the Hon'ble Supreme Court had passed an order in 10.12.96 disposing off an inter-locutory application wherein the direction was issued to the Ministry of Environment and forest (MOEF), to constitute the Central Ground Water Board(CGWB) as an authority under section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 who shall exercise all the powers under the Act necessary for the purpose of regulation and control of ground water management and development. In pursuance of this direction, the MOEF has issued a notification dated 14.1.97 constituting the CGWB as an Authority for a period of one year. The authority shall exercise the powers and perform the functions as follows :

  1. Exercise of powers under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for issuing directions and taking such measures in respect of all the matters referred to in sub-section(2) of Section 3 of the said Act.
  2. To resort to the penal provision contained in section 15 to 21 of the said Act.
  3. To regulate indiscriminate boring and withdrawal of ground water in the country and to issue necessary regulatory directions with a view to preserve and protect the ground water.

The modus-operandi of the functioning of Central Ground Water Authority is being worked out.



4.2.70 The Command Area Development Programme (CADP) presently covers 203 projects, with CCA of about 21 m.ha in 22 States and 2 UTs. However, upto March, 1995, a total irrigation potential of 14.94 million hectares was created in the projects under CAD Programme and the corresponding utilisation was 11.98 million hectares. There has been an improvement in the percentage utilisation of the potential created from 77 percent in 1991-92 to 80 percent in 1994-95 as shown in the Table 4.2.9.

                          Table 4.2.9
                                                   (In million hectare)
     Year       Potential     	Potential    		Utilisation   	Gap
                    Created       	Utilised     		as % of pot.
              (cummulative)  	(cummulative) 	created.
   1973-74        6.68        	5.11      		76.50        	1.57
   1979-80       11.26         	7.89      		70.07        	3.37
   1984-85       12.79           	10.42      		81.47           2.37
   1985-86       13.90           	10.18      		73.24        	3.72
   1986-87       14.28           	11.04      		77.31        	3.24
   1987-88       14.42           	10.93      		75.80       	3.49
   1988-89       14.50           	11.43      		78.83        	3.07
   1989-90       14.59           	11.08      		75.94        	3.51
   1990-91       14.81           	10.90      		73.60        	3.91
   1991-92       14.83            11.41      		76.94        	3.42
   1992-93       15.01           	11.89      		79.21        	3.12
   1993-94       14.80           	11.99      		81.01        	2.81
   1994-95       14.94            11.98      		80.19        	2.95

4.2.71 As the table indicates, the gap in utilisation which was 1.57 m.ha in 1973-74 increased to 3.37 m.ha. by the end of 1979-80. At that stage, the impact of the CADP which was started in 1974, had not been sufficiently felt. However, after 1979-80, the rise in the gap between potential creation and utilisation was effectively arrested and the gap at the end of 1994-95 was 2.95 m.ha. i.e. an overall reduction of about 12.5 per cent. An analysis also show that there has been an increase in the number of projects from 20 to 31 i.e. by 55%, with higher level of utilisation (more than 80%) Fifteen projects included at the inception of the programme have now cent per cent utilisation of irrigation potential.

The main component-wise physical achievements of CADP upto March, 1997 are given in Table 4.2.10.

                       Table 4.2.10 
                                                                          (In m.ha.)   
     Item             During the period   	Total upto the end of   VIII Plan
                             	1974-92          1992-97				
                1		 2		3		4
I Physical
     (i)  Construction of      12.19          1.77    	      13.96    
         Field Channels
    (ii) WARABANDI              6.12          2.52     	       8.64              
   (iii) Land levelling         1.99          0.11     	       2.10               
    (iv) Field drains           0.59          0.19     	       0.78              
II Financial( Rs. in crore )
    (a)  Central Sector Expd. 1081.22       607.07          1688.29                    
    (b)  State Sector Expd.   2091.73      1458.77          3550.50     
         Total :              3172.95      2065.84          5228.79

4.2.72 Yearwise and Statewise details of expenditure during 8th Plan are indicated in Annexure-4.2.8.

4.2.73 The physical progress achieved in respect of construction of field channels has been very high but in the case of WARABANDI, it has been moderate viz, about 60% of the area covered by the field channels. Again, the progress in construction of field drains has been only 0.78 m.ha (against 13.96 m.ha. of field channels) which works out to about 5.5% only and major share of this is in the State of Maharashtra (0.28 m.ha) and U.P. (0.21 m.ha). About 92% of the total achievement of land levelling is in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Due to proper levelling of land and its shaping, the cost of OFD work is reduced, besides saving of water and improvement in productivity. Therefore, there is a need for co-ordinated and paripassu implementation of all the OFD activities on field so as to realise the optimum benefits from the CAD Programme.

4.2.74 Farm roads although included in CADP package, is not a part of the Centrally Sponsored CAD Programme. As such, monitoring of this activity is not being done by the Ministry of Water Resources. But wherever needed, it is now being undertaken through the State sector. In the case of the Chambal Project in Rajasthan, farm roads, which act as approach roads to the farmers, have been executed for transporting inputs to the field and bringing out the produce without any difficulty. The roads are being provided along the field drains with a width of 3 metres and height of 30 cm on either side of the drain raised above the surrounding terrain. They are not being provided along the water courses because continuous weathering of farm roads/tracts due to traffic and non-availability of earth for their maintenance near water courses and also because of the chances of earthern water course sections becoming unstable due to disbursance of soil on account of traffic. In the case of IGNP in Rajasthan, the provision of road as a means of access to the vast desert area was regarded as essential and a prerequisite for the utilisation of irrigation potential created and carriage of inputs and farm produce etc. Since 1974-75 till the end of Eighth Plan, about Rs.110 crore have been spent on this component. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh also, Rs.30.60 crore have been spent during the Eighth Plan for development of farm roads.

4.2.75 The survey of relevant legal provisions in the existing Irrigation Acts in various States shows that most of the States do not have OFD works included in their Acts. For want of this, the CADP is being implemented by obtaining willful possession of land from the concerned farmers for which no compensation is paid to them. In such a situation, several issues crop up like field channels being undone after sometime without any check and also the field channels being generally aligned on field boundaries resulting in longer zig-zag length and thereby causing higher conveyance loss and cost of implementation etc. Consolidation of holding is another activity which needs attention by the States. To account for the above situations, legal back-up to CADP is needed. For example, the North India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873, (as applicable to the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh), the Bengal Irrigation Act 1876 applicable to Bihar and West Bengal), the Bombay Irrigation Act 1979, the Rajasthan Irrigation and Drainage Act, 1954 and Orissa Irrigation Act do not provide for direct/effective OFD works as well as involvement of the beneficiaries in overall management and administration of irrigation systems. Further, some of the State Irrigation Acts provide for people's participation only in a limited way. Therefore, the State Irrigation Acts are required to be suitably and comprehensively amended to cover OFD works and farmer's participation through Water Users' Associations in proper perspective.

Measures for improvement

4.2.76 During Ninth Plan drainage of waterlogged areas which is already in CSS CADP would be accelerated. In addition the modernisation and upgradation of old irrigation systems would be taken up under this programme as both the above activities are very critical for sustenance and optimum utilisation of created potential.

4.2.77 In order to improve the implementation and performance of the CADP, the following steps are needed:-

  1. There is a need for coordinated and paripassu implementation of all the OFD activities in irrigated Commands. In addition, better integration of the engineering, agriculture and extension functions in managing the system is needed.
  2. The monitoring of CADP should be done in such a manner that the evaluation, with the tangible indicators of performance, is carried out on a continuing basis for selected projects preferably representative of each region and corrective measures taken accordingly from time to time.
  3. Either the existing Irrigation Acts should be suitably amended or a special legislation should be enacted to provide for legal support to Participatory Irrigation Management.


Flood Management - An Overview

4.2.78 In general, substantial areas in the North-Eastern and eastern sectors in the country are affected by chronic and severe floods caused by mighty rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges and the coastal areas by sea erosion and cyclones, etc. The flood prone area in the country, as assessed by the Rashtriya Barh Ayog, is 40 m.ha i.e. 1/8th of the country's geographical area, out of which about 32 m.ha can be provided with reasonable flood protection by various measures. The National Programme of Flood Management was launched in 1954. It is estimated that an area of 14.2 m.ha. has been provided reasonable degree of protection as a result of construction of 16199 kms. new embankments, 32003 kms. drainage channels, protection to 906 towns/important villages and raising 4721 villages above flood level at the beginning of the Eighth Plan (excluding 3 m.ha. already existing before 1954). During the Eighth Plan the additional area benefited is estimated at 1.82 m.ha. against the (revised) target of 1.366 m.ha. Thus, at the end of Eighth Plan, a total area of 19.02 m.ha. (including 3 M.ha. before 1954) has been provided with reasonable flood protection which is about 59.4% of the total area protectable in the country. The State-wise outlays and the likely expenditure during the Eighth Plan with overall anticipated expenditure of Rs.1867.31 crore are given in Annexure-4.2.9. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, H.P., Assam, Haryana, J and K, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tripura have, by and large, spent more than the approved outlays.

4.2.79 On the basis of the statistics from 1953 to 1994, the total area affected annually on an average is about 7.56 m.ha. and the cropped area is about 3.53 mha. with as high as 10.45 m.ha. in year 1988. On an average, 1504 human lives are lost every year due to floods with 11316 lives lost in the year 1977. The total loss on account of flood damage to crops, houses and public utility is estimated at Rs.41250 crore during the period 1953 - 1994. The maximum flood damage, as estimated, was of the order of Rs.4690 crore in the year 1988. The following Table 4.2.11 shows the Plan expenditure, relief (for floods and cyclones) expenditure vis-a-vis the average damage which brings out that the expenditure for flood measures in the corresponding years is quite less than the expenditure on relief measures.

 Table 4.2.11
Year   		Plan  	  	Relief 		Total  		Average damage
               expdr.   	expdr.    	(2+3)       (from 1953 to the year)
  1         	  2         	  3        	  4               5
1992-93   	330.16  	893.30   	1223.46       	977.85    
1993-94   	364.19  	564.00    	928.19       	962.34
1994-95   	308.82  	630.00    	938.82       	982.13
1995-96   	348.67  	729.40   	1078.07            -
1996-97   	542.65    	-         		-          -

Snow Melt Contribution to River Discharge/Floods

4.2.80 It has been observed that the river discharge of Himalayan snow-fed rivers of a unit area is roughly twice that of peninsular contribution from snow melting and glacial drainage. In the case of glacial streams of Punjab rivers, it was found in the Sutlej basin that the snowfall was best related with the longitude, thereby showing the effect of westerly wind of winter precipitation. In the case of the Chenab river system, the data showed that the total annual precipitation was poorly related with the elevation but the ratio of rainfall to snowfall decreased with the increase of elevation. As far as quantitative estimation of snowmelt contribution to the river discharge is concerned, though no definite conclusions may be drawn from the available studies, the annual contributions from ground snowmelt (March-June) may be roughly taken as around 20%, while the melt contribution of snow on glacier ice during July-Sept. may be about 50% of the annual stream flow respectively. Further, it is also to be noted that the latter component of snowmelt contribution continues throughout the year making the river perennial. The period from April to September is accelerated snowmelt period contributing large inflows to the streams, while October to March is the period when snowmelt is delayed and its contribution to the annual volume is small.

Flood Forecasting and Warning and Dissemination of Forecasts

4.2.81 Flood forecasting and prior warning to flood prone areas are among the most important and cost-effective measures for flood management. The Central Water Commission has set up a network of flood forecasting and warning stations, covering most of the inter-State rivers in the country. The forecasting network needs to be extended to the remaining flood-prone rivers, ensuring close coordination and effective participation of India Meteorology Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for using to the best the remote sensing technique and telemetry. The existing arrangements to make the forecasts reach the people in advance of the actual flood need to be strengthened. Currently, 157 flood forecasting stations are in operation and nearly 7500 flood forecasts are issued every year. These forecasts are normally issued 24 to 48 hours in advance so as to give sufficient time to the concerned civil and engineering department authorities for dissemination of information, for providing relief and rescue measures to people, as well as for protecting important engineering works/structures. But much more is required to be done to improve the hydrometeorological networks, automation in data communication, accurate forewarnings, instant dissemination of forewarnings, and modernisation of the flood forecasting system for automatic data acquisition and transmission through VHF and satellite. The flood forecasting model MIKE II for water level forecasting and flood management technique on real time basis has been developed (although the co-relation of the water level with the extent of spread of flood is still to be incorporated) and made operational in Damodar Catchment covering the system reservoirs Yamuna and Upper and Lower Godavari Basins. The experience gathered from these works would be helpful for similar application in other basins.

Strategy during Ninth Plan

4.2.82 The broad strategies/approaches for flood management consist of, (i) modifying the course of flood in order to keep the flood waters away from development areas, (ii) removing the susceptibility to flood damage by keeping out of the flood-prone areas, the people and development subject to damage. (iii) minimising the extent of loss by reducing the financial and social impact of flood through some measures and (iv) living with floods. Keeping this in view, the strategy for implementation of flood management during the Ninth Plan would be as follows : -

  1. Flood management coverage to additional flood prone areas with due prioritisation/ phasing of flood prone areas.
  2. Structural measures in combination with non-structural ones to be considered in the context of flood management in a region/basin.
  3. Prioritisation/phasing of works/region(s) to be worked out with respect to the frequency of flooding, its extent, severity and damage potential etc. and regions/areas delineated on flood risk maps accordingly in each basin/sub-basin.
  4. Systematic survey to assess the cause(s), extent and nature of waterlogging, saline and alkaline lands in irrigated commands on a priority for undertaking diagnostic measures.
  5. Investigation in detail by the States for realistic assessment/evaluation of the measures for flood management suggested in various master plans of the river basins/ sub- basins prepared at the pre-feasibility level.
  6. Further extension of the coverage of flood forecasting and warning system and dissemination of information in the quickest possible manner covering the widest cross-sections of the population in the flood-prone areas.
  7. Undertaking on a priority basis adequate maintenance and restoration of the created assets to ensure sustenance of accrual of the envisaged benefits.



4.2.83 After independence, the need for expansion of irrigation facilities was fully recognised for increasing foodgrains production to meet the growing requirements of the population. Despite this, the expansion of irrigation facilities, operation and maintenance of irrigation system and distribution of water have not received due attention. Irrigation sector is today facing the twin issues of sub-optimal sector planning and financial management on the one hand and inadequate water management and maintenance on the other. Involving the farmers in the irrigation systems is one obvious remedy for addressing the management problems. The Irrigation Enquiry Committee, l938 also known as Visvesvaraya Committee, had recommended entrusting of irrigation to a village or group of villages if the farmers were willing to take up cooperative irrigation. The Command Area Development Programme started in l974 envisaged the participation of farmer organisations from the start as necessary to run the micro system. The Sixth Plan emphasised the need for participation of farmers in the scientific management of water resources. The Seventh Plan reiterated the need for participation of farmers in the management of irrigation. The National Water Policy, l987 also stressed the involvement of farmers in various aspects of the management of the irrigation system particularly in water distribution and collection of water rates. The Committee on Pricing of Irrigation Water (l992) also recommended farmers participation in the management of irrigation systems.

4.2.84 Inspite of the growing realisation of the urgent need for farmers' participation in the management of irrigation, the progress has been slow so far. It is estimated that today only 8,04,000 hectares are being managed by WUAs. The Table 4.2.12 provides some idea about the extent and performance of farmers' organisations in a few selected States:

4.2.85 Amongst the major reasons considered to be responsible for the tardy progress in the implementation of the PIM, are (a) the prolonged prevalence of government-managed systems has sapped the initiative of the farmers and made them dependent on the Government; (b) non-availability of funds for PIM. At present funds are available to a small extent under CAD programme as one-time subsidy to the WUAs. (c) the farmers are reluctant to adopt participatory approach unless deliveries of water can be made flexible, practical and responsive to the need; (d) there are apprehensions in the minds of farmers that under the new system they might have to incur expenditure on operation and maintenance in addition to increased water rates; (e) there is often a lack of homogeneity in the composition of farmer population and they are reluctant to come together, because of differences of castes and classes, to form an association; (f) the present institutional arrangements are not conducive to the introduction of PIM. Properly oriented, trained and motivated officials to implement this programme are lacking and there is no dedicated wing for this purpose; (g) lack of an enabling law for the establishment of WUAs is an important impediment in the introduction of PIM. There is a need to have a separate law for the formation of Water User Farmers' Associations (WUAs). However, till such time as such a law is enacted, any existing law like State Irrigation Act could be used with necessary amendments to define the rights and obligations of the WUAs.

4.2.86 The Union Government has taken several initiatives for expanding the PIM in the country. These, inter-alia, include a National Conference on PIM, held in New Delhi from June l9-23, l995, which adopted a plan of action envisaging conferences at State level for creation of awareness and understanding of issues, initiation of measures for legal changes necessary to implement PIM, preparation of manuals, training of farmers and officials etc. Following the recommendations of the National Conference State/Regional Level Conferences were held. Training programmes are conducted on PIM at the National level for officers and at State level for officers and farmers. Work on the preparation of manuals for PIM in regional languages has been initiated. The Ministry is in the process of proposing amendments to the irrigation Acts of States to give legal status to Water Users Association. The Ministry has requested the State Governments to set up a High Level Group under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary to prepare policy guidelines for implementing the PIM. The Governments of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have already set up such High Level Groups. The Planning Commission had set up a Working Group on Participatory Irrigation Management for the Ninth Plan.

4.2.87 The role of the NGOs in bringing members of different communities together is quite important. They can assist the Associations in organising themselves, drawing up the bye-laws, getting registered as societies, devising rules of working together, maintaining books of accounts, conducting meetings and so on. They can lend support to the Associations in their dealings with the agencies of the State.

4.2.88 For successful implementation of the PIM, the following aspects need special attention.

  1. Legal aspects -Appropriate Legislative backing should be provided as early as possible.
  2. Institutional aspects - High Level Committee should be set up to formulate policies for the implementation of PIM and review policy issues from time to time. A Standing Committee for operational and monitoring purposes should be set up. In addition, there is a need for a separate wing for PIM in the Department of Irrigation or Command Area Development. The setting up of training and research institutions like WALMIS where they do not exist has been suggested. Employment of Community Organisers for motivating the farmers and later working with them in setting up WUAs has also been suggested. There is a need to create a separate multi-disciplinary wing for PIM in the Ministry of Water Resources in Government of India. The setting up of National Support Group for PIM can also be considered.
  3. Financial Aspects - There is an urgent need to ensure that during Ninth Plan the PIM programme is prominently highlighted and adequately funded. Under the Centrally Sponsored CAD Programme, the initial management subsidy of Rs.275 per ha. which was earlier available has been changed to a functional grant of Rs.500 per ha. of which Rs.225 each would be borne by Central and State Governments and Rs.50 by the farmers' association. Also, non-CAD and non-external assistance areas would need some consideration for the functional grant if the PIM is implemented in such areas.

Ninth Plan Programme

4.2.89 As per the Working Group Report, the physical programme of at least 2000 pilot projects should be taken up in the Ninth Plan. Some additional pilot projects can also be taken up in the areas where some upgradation and modernisation of the systems have already been completed under the National Water Management Programme - Phase-I and the Water Resources Consolidation Project. The number of pilot projects taken up should be progressively increased from year to year and should add up to 2000 by the end of the Plan.

4.2.90 There is also a need for constant monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the WUAs for the success of the programme and for its replication in other areas.


4.2.91 In pursuance with the Prime Minister’s address on 22nd March 1998 (para 4.2.38) a special action plan relevant to set goal has been envisaged which has three-pronged strategy, i.e., optimisation of existing irrigation capacity utilisation, expansion of irrigation facilities through a time-bound programme including exploitation of ground water potential in the Eastern Region and effective harnessing of inter-state river waters. Besides the above vigorous national campaign needs to be launched through mass education and public awareness using the electronic and print media to convince the people that water is a precious yet finite national resource and therefore it should be used more judiciously by tapping various efficient water saving practices in agriculture, industry and for domestic uses, etc. Optimisation of existing irrigation capacity includes renovation and modernisation of old irrigation projects, accelerated changeover from land irrigation to crop irrigation at least in arid and semi-arid areas, renovation/restoration of old tanks alongwith creation of new tanks in villages and towns and promotion of micro irrigation systems i.e. sprinkler and drip irrigation, particularly in water short areas. Expansion of irrigation facilities include time-bound completion of ongoing pre-Seventh Plan 108 major and 176 medium irrigation projects as well as developing ground water potential of 1.5 lakh ha. (out of vast ground water potential of about 20 Mha) as available in the eastern region. Pricing of water for various uses is to be rationalised so as to atleast fully recover the O and M cost of irrigation system by the year 2001-02. Requisite funds for regular and proper maintenance of existing irrigation systems by setting apart certain percentage of plan and non-plan funds in the State Budget every year is also to be ensured. In the context of effective harnessing of inter-State river water available legal instrument i.e. Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 and Inter-State River Board Act, 1956 would be made more effective through suitable amendments ensuring thereby the process of adjudication of inter-State river water disputes, time-bound process. Similarly, the inter-State River Board Act is to be suitably modified to make it effective and meaningful on the one hand and provide unfettered authority to the Central Govt. to set up inter-State River Boards equipped with the statutory authority on the other. A comprehensive act is also required for regulation and development of ground water on sustainable basis both in public and private sector. Equally essential and urgent need is to create public awareness for judicious water use on one hand and to go for water conservation including rain water harvesting on the other through electronic and print media campaign.

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