Irrigation In India
1. At the time of commencement of the First Five Year Plan in 1951, population of India was about 361 million and annual food grain production was 51 million tones (m.t.), which was not adequate.
2. Import of food grains was then inevitable to cover up the shortage. Attaining self sufficiently in food was therefore given paramount importance in the plan period and in order to achieve the objective, various major, medium and minor irrigation and multi-purpose projects were formulated and implemented through successive Five Year Plans to create additional irrigation potential throughout the country.
3. This drive compounded with green revolution in the agricultural sector, has enabled India to become marginally surplus country from a deficit one in food grains.
4. Thus the net irrigated area is 39 percent of net sown area and 30 percent of total cultivable area. As stated earlier, the ultimate potential due to major and medium projects has been assessed as 58 m.ha. of which 64 per cent estimated to be developed.
5. The Planning Commission after examining the earlier studies on the regionalization of the agricultural economy has recommended that agricultural planning be done on the basis of agro climatic regions.
6. The planning commission of India has introduced a new classification of irrigation schemes:
A. Major irrigation Schemes: Those with Cultural Command Area of more than 10000 hectares.
B. Medium Irrigation Schemes: Those with cultural Command Area between 2000 and 10000 hectares.
C. Minor irrigation Schemes: Those with cultural command area between 2000 -10000 hectares.
7. The government of India launched Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP) in 1996-97.
8. Micro Irrigation: A new Centrally Sponsored scheme on Micro Irrigation was launched by Department of of Agriculture and Cooperation with the approval of Cabinet on December 29, 2005, during the tenth plan with a target to bring 6.2 lakh hectares under the scheme with an objective of judicious use of water and available resources.
9. Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation is an irrigation method which minimizes the use of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It saves 30-40% of water as compared to irrigation with traditional method. It also gives 20-25% more productivity.
11. Irrigation under Bharat Nirman: Irrigation is one of the six components of for development of Infrastructure under Bharat Nirman. Under the Irrigation Component of Bharat Nirman, the target of creation of additional irrigation potential of 1 crore hectare in 4 years (2005-06 to 2008-09) is planned to be met largely through expeditious completion of identified ongoing major and medium irrigation projects.
Irrigation potential of 42 lakh hectare is planned to be created by expeditiously completing such ongoing major and medium projects. There is a definite gap between irrigation potential created and the potential utilized.
Under Bharat Nirman it is planned to restore and utilize irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare through implementation of extension, renovation and modernization of schemes along with command area development and water management practices.
There are considerable areas in the country with unutilized ground water resources. Irrigation potential of 28 lakh hectare is planned to be created through ground water development. The remaining target for creation of irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectare is planned to be created by way of minor irrigation schemes using surface flow. lakh hectare of irrigation potential is also planned by way of repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies and extension, renovation and modernization of minor irrigation schemes.
with inputs from Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India