Major, Medium and Minor Irrigation Schemes

Cultural command area is the basis for the design of water course and basis for the design of an irrigation project. It is the proportion of the Gross Command Area which is Culturable and cultivable.

The Planning commission has classified the irrigation in India in 3 types:

  1. Major irrigation Scheme: Major irrigation schemes are those schemes which have a Culturable Command Areas of More than 10,000 hectares.
  2. Medium irrigation Schemes: The Medium Irrigation Schemes have a CCA of 2,000-10,000 hectares.
  3. Minor Schemes: Those with Culturable command areas up to 2000 hectares.

Major and Medium Irrigation (MMI) Projects

For the country as a whole, 66% of the ultimate irrigation potential of major and medium projects has been created. The average rate of creation of irrigation potential through Major and Medium projects from 1951 to 1997 has been found to be of the order of 0.51 Mha per year. During the year 1997 to 2005, the rate for creation has been found to be 0.92 Mah per year. The pace of creation of new irrigation potential through Major and Medium projects has increased in the recent past. This is probably due to fruition of projects started much earlier, which have been expedited due to increased support through AIBP.

Minor Irrigation Schemes

There is considerable variation in creation of irrigation potential through minor irrigation (both surface and ground water) schemes from State to State. While full potential through minor irrigation has been tapped in some of the States, it is relatively very low in others. The Report of the National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development points out that the carrying capacity of tanks has decreased over time for a variety of reasons and that the restoration and renovation of tanks and other local sources is a priority task. Since 2004-05, a pilot scheme for “repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies directly linked to agriculture” has been taken up by the Government as a state-sector scheme in the 16 districts of the country which is proposed to be expanded.

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