BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government has set an ambitious target to create irrigation potential for additional 10 lakh hectares of land by 2019, it has been able to cover only 1.01 lakh hectares under micro irrigation.
With a total cultivable area of 61.65 lakh hectares, the state government has created irrigation facility for 36.62 lakh hectares during kharif season. The area under micro irrigation is only 2.76 percent of the total arable land.
A centrally sponsored scheme, Micro Irrigation programme was launched in 2006 with the objective to enhance water use efficiency in the agriculture sector by promoting drip and sprinkler irrigation technologies. Farmers were encouraged to use water saving and conservation technologies to beat erratic monsoon.
The scheme was up-scaled to National Mission on Micro Irrigation (NMMI) in June 2010 which continued till the year 2013-14. After NDA government came to power the programme subsumed under the Pradhan Matri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
The Centre which has indicated tentative allocation of Rs 18 crore under micro irrigation programme has allocated Rs 10.80 crore including Rs 2.48 crore under tribal sub-plan (TSP) and Rs 1.48 crore special component plan for Scheduled Castes.
With a poor track record in utilisation of Central assistance, the State Government lost about Rs 50 crore from the Centre last year due to its failure to submit district irrigation plans under PMKSY.
The State Government has already submitted Rs 35,000 crore District Irrigation Plans to the Centre for 2016-17.
Meanwhile, the Horticulture Department has planned to cover 26,251 hectares (ha) of land under micro irrigation system in the current fiscal with an outlay of Rs 74.65 crore.
As per the district irrigation plans under PMKSY, the Department has targeted to cover an area of 11,384 ha under drip irrigation and another 14,867 ha under sprinkler irrigation.
Of the total provision, the Central Government share is Rs 22.64 crore while the State’s share is Rs 15.06 crore.
Meanwhile, the Centre has released Rs 10.80 crore to the State. However, the State Government is yet to release its share.
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh during his recent visit to the state rapped the State Government for failing to utilise Central assistance provided under different schemes.