BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government has paved the way for industries to acquire land in irrigated command areas to set up shop. But the corporates would have to pay for compensatory irrigation.
In a new set of guidelines, the Water Resources Department has stipulated that irrigated areas or land for which canal systems have already been designed should not be ordinarily used for industrial purpose unless an industry has made investment in the location and it is impossible to avoid irrigation command area completely on ground of continuity.
If such land is acquired or directly procured for establishment of industry, the project proponent will bear the cost of compensatory irrigation, which in such a case, would be double the ayacut lost.
The Department has also made it mandatory for the industry to provide irrigation if its project intercepts a canal system. “If a canal system is intercepted by the industry depriving irrigation to downstream ayacut, the project proponent has the responsibility to provide irrigation facilities either by diverting the canal or by pumping. All costs of such diversion, including cost of additional land and pumping, shall be paid by the industry,” the guidelines said.
If canal diversion and pumping are not possible, the industry will have to compensate for the loss of such irrigation at the rate of twice the downstream ayacut.
The Water Resources Department has made it clear that the compensatory irrigation will have to be created in the same project area where the ayacut is lost by extending a canal system, if possible, or through pumped irrigation. In case either of the two is not possible, creation of the new ayacut will be done through Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation in the same same block or district. In case lift irrigation is not possible in the same district, a neighbouring district will be considered.
The cost of compensatory irrigation will be calculated on current costs. Since compensatory irrigation takes at least three years, the project proponent will be charged 25 per cent extra.
While the new guidelines will be applicable to fresh cases as well as industries where diversion of irrigated command area is not yet completed, the cost will be deposited with the IDCO. An agreement will have to be executed for compensatory irrigation.