State Fails to Tap Additional Irrigation Potential

Even after spending over Rs 14,000 crore in the irrigation sector during the last seven years, the State Government has not been able to create additional irrigation potential for 3.44 lakh hectares.

Published: 01st December 2013 11:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2013 11:55 AM   |  A+A-

Even after spending over Rs 14,000 crore in the irrigation sector during the last seven years, the State Government has not been able to create additional irrigation potential for 3.44 lakh hectares.

Taking the budgetary provision made for irrigation sector from 2007-08 to 2013-14, the Government has provided Rs 14,200 crore including Central assistance and aid from external agencies to the Water Resources Department.

According to a rough estimate, the State Government had spent Rs 24.22 crore for creating irrigation potential for one hectare which is abnormally high.

The Government has been allocating a significant share of the annual budget to the Department for expanding irrigation to the non-irrigated areas.

Of the 61.65 lakh hectare of cultivated area, the Department had created irrigation potential for 27.58 lakh hectare for kharif crops  and 12.94 lakh hectares for rabi crops till March 2007.

The irrigation potential created by the end of the 11th plan period (2011-12) for kharif crops was 30.89 lakh hectare while for rabi crop it was 15 lakh hectares. The net achievement during the five-year plan period was 3.31 lakh hectares.

The progress report of the Water Resources department ending March 2013 said that only 13,000 hectares of cultivated areas are brought under irrigation.

Sources in the Department said that irrigation potential created for some area does not necessarily mean that all the arable land in that particular area is covered under assured irrigation.

The Government had made a provision of Rs 794.59 crore for irrigation in 2007-08 and the allocation jumped to Rs 1,390.70 crore in 2008-09. In the subsequent years, the sector received focused attention of the Government with an allocation of Rs 1,800 crore in 2009-10, Rs 2,154 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 2,458.40 crore in 2011-12.

The Government continued to leverage its assistance to irrigation sector even during the first two years of the 12th plan period. The provision for 2012-13 was Rs 2,571.51 crore while the current year’s allocation is Rs 3,031 crore.

Taken together, the State Government has so far extended financial assistance of Rs 14,200 crore for the irrigation sector. While money is not a constraint, a large number of major and medium irrigation projects are languishing for years.

FACT FILE

■ The Government had made a provision of Rs 794.59 crore for irrigation in 2007-08 and the allocation jumped to Rs 1,390.70 crore in 2008-09

■ In the subsequent years it had jumped to Rs 1,800 crore in 2009-10, Rs 2,154 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 2,458.40 crore in 2011-12

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