Census of Minor Irrigation Schemes
For effective implementation of policy and planning, sound database regarding Minor Irrigation Sector is a must. The inadequacy of data has been considered as a serious constraint at various fora of irrigation planning. The National Commission on Agriculture had recommended that “Census of irrigation sources should be undertaken along with the Agricultural Census once in 5 years and special irrigation surveys on the number of wells and their utilization may be undertaken by the States” (recommendation 24/page 141 Volume-XIV). Planning Commission in 1970 also recommended for a detailed Census of Minor Irrigation works.
A meeting of the Technical Committee for agriculture census 1980-81 considered the inclusion of list of items relating to minor irrigation in the primary enumeration schedules, but it could not be agreed. The main reason for non-inclusion of items relating to minor irrigation was that the agriculture census data is compiled from the existing data of land records of various States. The data do not have the information relating to minor Irrigation works as desired. It was, therefore, necessary to conduct a census of minor irrigation works in the country. The first census of minor irrigation schemes was conducted under the Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme “Rationalism of Minor Irrigation Statistics” (RMIS) of Ministry of Water Resources in all the State/UTs with reference year 1986-87 and the All India Census report was published in November, 1993. The first minor irrigation census could not be conducted in Rajasthan due to non-cooperation of Patwaries. The census provided detailed information giving State wise/district wise number of schemes, culturable command area, potential created, potential utilized, etc. in respect of each type of minor irrigation scheme, namely dug wells, shallow tube wells, deep tube wells, surface flow and surface lift schemes. The information on ownership of Minor Irrigation schemes, Type and Status of Minor Irrigation Schemes, Sources of Finance and water lifting device used in the scheme were also collected in the Census for detail study. Second Census of minor irrigation structures/schemes with reference year 1993-94 was conducted in all the State/UTs and All India Census report was published in March 2001. In 2nd MI Census, work could not be completed in Maharashtra and Gujarat due to administrative reasons in the State. In case of Karnataka and Tamilnadu the census was completed in time but due to delay in finalization of the results, it could not be included in the report.
Like the 3rd Census, the 4th MI Census was also conducted in 33 states and UTs except Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep. The methodology of the census was the same as the earlier one with the difference that the states were asked to carry out the data entry of the schedules parallel in the district headquarters as against the data entry at the state headquarters done during the 3rd MI Census.
In the 4th MI Census, the number of schedules was reduced from 6 to 3. One village schedule for collecting information for each village, one schedule for ground water schemes and one schedule for surface water schemes were canvassed. The format of the schedules used in 4th MI Census is given in Annexure-II. For the first time a new column on the cost of the scheme, cost of maintenance, source of funding, type of energy used was introduced in the schedule.
The field work started in July, 2007-and continued up to June, 2009. The states started the data entry work after the field data collection work was complete. Thus, the data entry continued up to March, 2010. The validation of data was then taken up in April, 2010.
Once the data was received from all the states it was compared with the previous census data and some inconsistencies were noted. All the concerned states were asked to verify and correct data and intimate the validated data to this Ministry. Simultaneously a study was done by NIRD to validate the results of 4th MI Census. The results of this study being significantly different from the 4th Census, CWC was also asked to check the data with the help of local offices in the concerned states. The reports of NIRD and CWC were not in line with the 4th MI Census report. Hence the publication of report at the Central level was delayed as the states were then advised to revalidate their data and send the corrected & consistent data.
The following reports have been generated from the data of 4th MI Census:
Integrated Tables: These Tables contain the aggregate data on key items for all types of schemes, viz. Number, Irrigation Potential Created, Irrigation Potential Utilised for MI schemes in Use and not in use, Crop-wise irrigation, Source of finance for construction of schemes in private sector, distribution by social category, type of farmers, e.g., marginal, small, big farmers, use of distribution devices, constraints in utilization of MI schemes.
Scheme-wise Tables: These contain detailed tables on other important aspects of MI schemes separately by type of schemes. The items covered are ownership of the scheme, holding size, cost of construction, distribution device, social status of owner, type and status of scheme, source of finance and water lifting device.