HYDERABAD: Telangana government has increased the state’s capacity to utilize existing water resources for irrigation by almost 13 times in a span of just one year.
The Composite Water Management Index(CWMI) report released by NITI Ayog on Thursday pointed out exclusively that the state increased the ratio of Irrigation Potential Utilized (IPU) to Irrigation Potential Created (IPC) from 4 percent to 53 percent from the year 2015-16 to 2016-17.
“While Telangana government’s Mission Kakatiya programmeis makes great moves in water resource management, there’s a long way to go for the state to be one of the best in country in managing its water resources”, says the CWMI report.
As per CWMI scoring, Telangana ranks eighth among 17 ‘Non-Himalayan states’ as the state secured CWMI score of 50. With this score, Telangana is in the cusp of Medium(CWMI score 50-65) and Low(CWMI score < 50) performing states in the country.
Narsimha Reddy Donthi, public policy expert and environmentalist, says, “The philosophy of the Index, which terms ‘under-pricing or non-pricing of electricity to farmers as one of the biggest water problems’, needs to be questioned seriously. Ground water usage, lift irrigation or pumping of water, private or institutional sources, is mostly for domestic and industrial purposes. Without statistics, or a quantitative basis, this Index holds onto the theory that rain-fed agriculture is creating a water problem.”
The report also pointed out that only 55 percent of the rural habitations have drinking water supply with no improvement from 2015-16 to 2016-17.