Irrigation is the main component of agricultural production. Agriculture being the biggest sector of the Indian economy providing livelihood to nearly 70% of the population, irrigation becomes paramount. This treatise examines the development of irrigation in India. Various aspects of irrigation from identification of the projects to implementation and management are discussed. Water being the scarce commodity, water management under projects has been dealt with in detail. Case studies of major and medium irrigation projects in Karnataka are presented as illustrative examples. After an analysis of the 'New Irrigation Policy in India', suggestions for better irrigation pro-jectisation and development are given. When the country is almost on the threshold of the Nineth Five Year Plan, it is hoped that this work will be useful.
The author strongly feels that the rivers should become die central subject on the analogy of railways and national highways, and the major projects—planning, implementation and maintenance should be taken over by the Union Government which would put an end to all the inter-state river water disputes; after all, rivers are the national assets. In this work, the investments on irrigation in the minor, as well as major and medium projects are studied, along with their utilities and economics, as well as pros and cons of investments on each of these types of projects. The suggestions and recommendations contained in this treatise will be of current interest to the government, administrators and planners at large.
Irrigation is the main component of agricultural production. The increase in agricultural production and productivity, therefore, largely depends on the extent of irrigation development. Increasing agricultural production can be achieved by: (a) increasing the land availability and thereby increasing the net sown area; (b) supplementing the rain water by means of providing irrigation facilities; (c) reclaiming the lands which have turned unproductive due to alkalinity and salinity; (d) bringing more area under irrigation and preventing the losses in storage/transportation of water by bringing back the irrigation areas under the numerous tanks which have silted up by desilting them; (e) minimising the application of irrigation water by encouraging conjunctive use of surface and ground water; and (f) savings of substantial quantity of water availability for irrigation by resorting to increasing the areas of irrigation under drip and sprinkler irrigation. All these emphasise the need for proper utilisation of water resources in the country in a rational manner and by appropriate irrigation planning, monitoring and implementation.
During the planned era, huge investments have been made for irrigation development. An evaluation of the investments made shows that the returns are not commensurate with the investments made. Since the utilisation of land and water resources to the maximum extent should be the main objective of planning, the investments made towards that end should be guided by the clear-cut criterion of economic efficiency. Agriculture being the biggest sector of the Indian economy providing livelihood to nearly 70% of the population, irrigation becomes paramount. In the investment on irrigation, while major irrigation projects which require huge investments are not denied, it should be ensured that the investments made should be such that they reach the common man all over. The investments on irrigation, as a first priority, should be spread allover which is possible by taking up more number of minor irrigation works which makes the investment spread over large areas for the benefit of the wider section of the community. It would also be necessary to take up major irrigation projects to utilise the surface water resources fully, when the country could afford such investments.
In this treatise which is presented in eight chapters, the scope of irrigation in India is presented in Chapter 1 as the backdrop. Chapter 2 analyses the irrigation development in India and also provides the inter-state analysis. An attempt is also made to identify the status of irrigation development in India vis-a-vis many other countries in the world. There is a separate chapter on 'Minor Irrigation' in view of the importance as a quick yielding irrigation sector. Since water has to be used economically, a separate chapter on "Water Management' is given. The last chapter, 'Towards a New Irrigation Policy', contains an analysis on this policy, and suggestions for better irrigation in the country are given. Facts in every chapter are backed-up by practical examples and separate chapters containing case studies on major and medium irrigation projects and the World Bank assisted projects in Karnataka are given as illustrative examples. The problems and suggestions contained in these chapters arc not peculiar to this state alone but are of relevance to the country as a whole. Suggestions contained in Towards a New Irrigation Policy in the context of the future plans in the country, particularly when it is already on the threshold of the Ninth Five Year Plan, it is hoped, will be of utility. These suggestions may also be helpful in the context of inter-state river water disputes and the implementation of the awards already given. It is my view that the rivers should become the central subject and the major projects—planning, implementation and maintenance should be taken -over by the Central Government. This will put an end to all the interstate disputes. After all, rivers are the national assets.
The interest for attempting this work was created by a small monograph which I wrote in 1977, the inspiration for which came from the paper "Policies, Standards, Procedures in the Formulation, Evaluation and Review of Plans for Use and Development of Water and Related Land Resources" prepared under the direction of the President's Water Resources Council popularly called as Kennedy's paper brought out in 1962 where even in the context of American conditions well-being of all the people has been mentioned as the over-riding determinant in investment of funds in considering the best use of the water and related land resources. That monograph tried to analyse the pros and cons of the economics of the major irrigation projects vis-a-vis the minor irrigation projects in the light of the empirical data available in the Indian context. This analysis is also contained in this work in a small section and is very relevant in the context of irrigation development today. This tiny monograph published in 1977 was received well. It is hoped that this comprehensive book will be more useful. Secondly, I had the opportunity to work as a Member of the 'Subcommittee on Irrigation and Water Management' of the Committee on 'Stagnation of Agricultural Productivity' constituted by the Government of Karnataka. I had also the opportunity of taking the task of drafting this Sub-committee's report. This provided me an opportunity to go in depth to each of the irrigation projects in Karnataka, and case studies in this book are based on my effort done in that context.
This book on irrigation contains the analysis of irrigation in India, and a number of suggestions for better irrigation planning and development are made. I am thankful to Sri R.P. Nanjappa, Retired Chief Engineer, Government of Karnataka, for his valuable assistance in the presentation of the Sub-committee's report referred to above, from which I have drawn some material. I am also thankful to Sri D.J. Balaraj, retired Development Commissioner, who, as usual, was smilingly enthusiastic in providing me the inspiration for a final work of this kind. The sources indicated in the bibliography and cited elsewhere in this work are gratefully acknowledged. Sri M.L. Gidwani, the publisher, deserves a very special mention for the speed with which he has brought out this publication so neatly. He has shown keen interest and enthusiasm in bringing out this publication, which 1 wish to acknowledge. I am also thankful to the Central Water and Power Commission officers who provided some material to me. I am also thankful to the officers of the Irrigation Department of the Government of Karnataka and other senior officers for their co-operation in completing this book.
List of Tables 11
List of Annexes 13
Introduction and Scope 15
Irrigation Development—A General Analysis 46
Major and Medium Irrigation Projects in Karnataka:
Some Case Studies 76
Minor Irrigation 103
Review of World Bank Assisted Projects in Karnataka 123
Water Management 135
Stagnation of Agricultural Productivity in Relation to
Irrigation and Water Management 157
Towards a New Irrigation Policy 210
EXTRACTS FROM BOOK REVIEWS
IRRIGATION PROJECTS IN INDIA: TOWARDS A NEW POLICY.
1977 -py 96
“Here is a useful study of an important aspect of an integrated area development viz,. irrigation and timely in view of the priority accorded to this sector in current plans.”
"Makes an attempt to examine the pros and cons of the economics of the major irrigation projects vis-a-vis the miner irrigation projects with the help of the empirical data”.
"The author is not only an Economist, he has exhibited, his genius as a planner, policy maker and above all an intense Humanist.”
THE MYSORE ECONOMIC REVIEW.
“The book touches upon some of the important: facets of farm economy and make valuable suggestions which the agronomists and policy makers would do well to heed.”
THE HINDUSTAN TIMES,
"The author has clearly and at the same time analytically discussed the importance and urgency of small irrigation projects in India in the context of
her present economic situation.”
"This is a useful work by an experienced Economist and administrator. A select bibliography and index add to u ti1ity of the book.”
SOUTHERN EC ONOMIST.
"Despite its being a monograph, the contribution of the book to integrated
planning in irrigation seems to be quite major.”
The Hindu BUSINESS LINE Page 15
Monday October 28, 1996.
An agenda for Indian rivers
• Irrigation Projects in India — Towards a New
Policy By K. Puttaswamaiah Indus Publishing
WATER is a prime natural resource, a basic human need and a vital requirement in all developmental activities. Developmental Planning has, therefore, necessarily to include the planning of water resources. It has been estimated that out of total precipitation of around 400 million hectare metres in our country, the surface water availability is about 178 million hectare metres. Out of this, about 50 per cent cannot be put to beneficial use because of topographical and other constraints. In addition, there is ground water potential of about 42 million hectare metres. The availability of water is highly uneven in both space and time.
The growth process and the expansion of economic activities inevitably lead to increasing demands for water for diverse purposes: domestic, industrial, agricultural, hydro-power, navigation, recreation, etc. So far, the principal consumptive use of water has been for irrigation. While the irrigation potential is estimated to have increased from 19.5 million hectares at the time of Independence to about 68 million hectares at the end of the Sixth Plan, further development of a substantial order is necessary if the food and fibre needs of a growing population are to be met.
With the reorganisation of States in 1956, though people were under the euphoria of coming under a single administrative umbrella on linguistic basis, there was little thought for the organisation of a National Water Policy which would have avoided inter-State river disputes.
Irrigation is the main component of agricultural production. Agriculture being the biggest sector of the Indian economy providing livelihood to nearly 70 per cent of the population, irrigation becomes paramount. K. Puttaswamaiah presents his treatise in eight chapters. The scope of irrigation in India is presented in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 analyses the irrigation development in India and also provides an inter-state analysis. An attempt is also made to identify the status of irrigation development in India vis-a-vis many other countries in the world. There is also a chapter on water management.
The last chapter, 'Towards New Irrigation Policy, ' contains an analysis of this policy, and suggestions for better irrigation. Most facts presented in every chapter are backed by practical examples and separate chapters containing case studies on major and medium irrigation projects and the World Bank assisted projects in Karnataka are given as illustrative examples. The study also notes that the problems and suggestions contained in these chapters are not peculiar to this State but are relevant to the country.
Water is one of the most crucial elements in developmental planning. As the country prepares to enter the 21st century, efforts to develop, conserve, utilise and manage this important resource have to be guided by national perspectives. The need for a national water policy is thus abundantly clear. Water is a scarce and precious national resource, to be planned, developed and conserved as such, and on an integrated and environmentally sound basis, keeping in view the needs of the States concerned. The success of the National Water Policy will depend entirely on the development and maintenance of a national consensus and commitment to its underlying principles and objectives. The policy drawn has been exhaustive and contemplates almost all aspects involved in the use of water to the best extent possible. One of the redeeming features of the policy is that it encompasses the need for diversion of water from surplus basins to deficit basins. This aspect had long been neglected in the country.
The most important need at the present juncture is interlinking of river systems in India. It is significant to note that such an exercise would not only divert surplus waters into deficit areas but also to an extent prevent loss due to floods. This in turn minimises the enormous expenditure being incurred in flood protection works and work relating to flood damages and rehabilitation. This measure would also enable overcome droughts. Thus, it would be a measure of utilizing our own resources to mitigate the sufferings of people living in drought-prone areas. By his long association with irrigation management and policy formulation, Puttaswamaiah strongly feels that the rivers should become a central subject on the of lines of the Railways and National Highways, and with regard to major irrigation projects the planning, implementation and maintenance should be taken over by the Union Government. This would put an end to all the I inter-state river water disputes, for rivers, after all, are national assets. In this work, the investments on irrigation in the minor, as well as major and medium projects are studied, along with their utilities and economics, as well as pros and cons of investments on each of these types of projects.
The suggestions and recommendations contained in Puttaswamaiah's treatise will be of interest to government administrators, water management experts and planners and researchers in irrigation studies.
P. Jegadish Gandhi
THE ASIAN ECONOMIC REVIEW
THE JORNAL OF THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ECONOMICS
VOL XXXIX AUGUST 1997 NO. 2
IRRIGATION PROJECTS IN INDIA : TOWARDS A NEW POLICY By K.Puttaswamaiah. Indus
Publishing Company, FS-5, Tagore Garden, New Delhi - 110 027, 1994, pp.245.
This comprehensive book, prepared with special references to Karnataka, is divided into eight chapters : (i) Introduction and scope; (ii) Irrigation development - a general analysis; (iii) Major and medium irrigation projects in Karnataka : Some case studies; (iv) Minor irrigation; (v) Review of World Bank assisted projects in Karnataka; (vi) Water management; (vii) Stagnation of agricultural productivity in relation to irrigation and water management and (viii) Towards a new irrigation policy.
In India, the ultimate irrigation potential under minor irrigation is identified as 500.47 lakh ha. Up to the end of the seventh plan, an irrigation potential of 466.05 lakh ha. had been created of which 431.20 lakh ha. had been utilised. An outlay of Rs. 2,31,499 lakh ha. had been utilised. An outlay of Rs.2,31,499 Lakh was allotted for minor irrigation up to the end of the seventh plan in India. The expenditure at the end of the seventh plan was Rs. 3,11,413.08 lakh which works out to 134.52 per cent of the allocated outlay. The study stresses on as well as off farm water management for productive irrigation.
Proper design of the network of the channel systems including alignments of the field irrigation channels is the essence of efficient water management. Though lining of water courses is costly, it has many advantages. Drip irrigation is another system which has very high water use efficiency. The 'warabandi' system ensures 'equity' in the distribution of water. The huge investments in irrigation have not yielded due returns. The author identifies major problems facing the irrigation projects. These include : delays in acquiring lands and administrative and technical clearance; absence of adequate and timely funding ; infrastructure bottlenecks; rehabilitation of vocated villages and towns and lack of coordination between irrigation department and other departments like forest department. The irrigation sector suffers from cost and time overruns.
Most state governments are reluctant, for political reasons of course, to revise the water rates. The states are thus deprived of revenues due to them. This apart, when water is available cheaply, there would be excess use of water leading to low yields. The states should not hesitate to impose betterment levies as farmers are benefited from irrigation facilities. The author rightly feels the need for an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to the planning, formulation, clearance and implementation of projects, including catchment treatment, environmental and ecological aspects, the rehabilitation of affected people and command area development (p.217). Also, there should be a close integration of water-use and land-use policies.
The book throws useful light on the various dimensions of irrigation planning. Its publication is timely as India is in search of another breakthrough in terms of green revolution. The Hindu College, Machilipatnam
I. Satya Sundaram