NEW DELHI: The sixth census of minor irrigation schemes shows that there has been a substantial increase in the number of such schemes as compared to the fifth round of census conducted in 2013-14. A major share of minor irrigation schemes belonged to the private sector.
The minor irrigation census is important for effective planning and policy making. So far, six censuses have been conducted with reference years of 1986-87, 1993-94, 2000-01, 2006-07, 2013-14 and 2017-18.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on Saturday released the report on the sixth census on minor irrigation schemes.
There has been an increase of about 1.42 million in minor irrigation schemes than in the previous census. At the national level, both groundwater and surface water schemes have increased by 6.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.
The minor irrigation schemes include groundwater schemes and surface water schemes. The groundwater schemes comprise dugwells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells and deep tube wells, while the surface water schemes comprise surface flow and surface lift schemes.
The census shows that 23.14 million minor irrigation schemes have been reported in the country, out of which 21.93 million (94.8 per cent) are groundwater and 1.21 million (5.2 per cent) are surface water schemes. The census shows that Uttar Pradesh possesses the largest number of minor irrigation schemes, followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Dug wells have the highest share in minor irrigation schemes, followed by shallow tube wells, medium tube wells and deep tube wells. A majority of minor irrigation schemes (96.6 per cent) are under private ownership. In groundwater schemes, the share of private entities in the ownership is 98.3 per cent whereas in surface water schemes the respective share is 64.2 per cent.