Irrigation potential for 78 pc cultivable land created by June this year: Water Resources Minister

The Water Resources department has sought technical assistance of ORSAC to get a clear picture on areas covered under irrigation.

Published: 29th September 2023 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2023 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Odisha Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu.(Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Thursday informed the Assembly that irrigation potential has been created for over 78 per cent of the cultivable land of the state by the end of June 2023. Responding to a query from a leader of the Congress legislature party Narasingha Mishra, Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu said over 61.80 lakh hectares of land of the state is suitable for growing crops. The potential has been created to bring more than 48.29 lakh hectares of total arable land under irrigation.

While the highest irrigation potential of 97 per cent has been created in the Bargarh district followed by 93 per cent in the Dhenkanal district, the area coverage has exceeded the actual cultivable land in the Cuttack and Sonepur districts.

While the total cultivable area in Cuttack district is 18.81 lakh hectare, the district-wise irrigation potential statistics provided by the Water Resources Department said 21.99 lakh hectare is covered under irrigation.
In the case of Sonepur, out of the total cultivable area of 12.53 lakh hectares, irrigation potential has been created for more than 15 lakh hectares.

Admitting to discrepancies between total cultivable area and irrigation potential created in some districts, the minister said it has come to the notice of the government. The Water Resources department has sought technical assistance from ORSAC to get a clear picture of areas covered under irrigation.

The minister further said that steps have been taken to digitise the map of ayacut areas of individual irrigation projects with the help of Panchayati Raj, Agriculture and Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste Development departments. After GIS mapping, a clear picture will emerge.

Kandhamal and Nayagarh districts have having least irrigation facilities as compared to other districts. With a total cultivable area of 12.77 lakh hectares and 13.36 lakh hectare, irrigation potential has been created for only 4.99 lakh hectares and 6.21 lakh hectares in the two districts respectively.

Apart from major, medium and minor irrigation projects, the minister said the state government is now giving more emphasis on mega lift and lift irrigation projects to bring more areas under assured irrigation.

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