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MINOR IRRIGATION PROGRAMME AND ORGANISATION IN STATES 

mplementation of minor irrigation works in States is done by various departments and organisations under different developmental programmes.  Generally dugwells, shallow tubewells and installation of pump-sets are taken up by individual farmers.  Ministry  of Agriculture, Government of India is operating a centrally sponsored scheme “On farm Water Management for increasing Crop Production in Eastern India” of assistance to small and marginal farmers for increasing agriculture production  It covers gully plugging, nala bunding, construction of small surface storage structures including ponds, tanks, deepening of village ponds, percolation tanks, dugwells, shallow tubewells, filter points, boring and deepening of wells, renovation of old wells, rahat, pump-set with appropriate water conveyance and distribution systems, pump houses, etc.   

Under rural development programme, the minor irrigation works are taken up with a view to raise the standard of living of rural people.  Since these schemes are quickly completed and rural employment oriented, more and more emphasis is being given for inclusion of such schemes under rural development initiative. The Department of Rural Development, Government of India  operate a centrally sponsored scheme titled “Integrated Rural Development Programme” (IRDP) under which subsidies are made available to the farmers for minor irrigation works.  The renovation of tanks and construction of ponds/tanks, gully, plugging and nala bunding, etc. are also taken up under various employment generation programmes such as Jawahar Rozgar Yojna Employment Assurance Scheme.  The Million Wells Scheme helps the beneficiaries to acquire asset for their sustained self employment on land based activities.  Under the Drought Prone Area Programme, which is operative in 972 blocks of 182 districts in 16 States, about 7.45 lakh square kilometre of area is being benefited as per the Annual Report 2003-04.  Similarly, minor irrigation works are also taken up as a component of Tribal Development Programme. 

The finance for private minor irrigation works flow as subsidy from the government departments and loans from banks.The monitoring of the programmes by different departments does not consider the minor irrigation schemes separately and there is no single department in the State for compiling the minor irrigation data for the entire State.  It results into incomplete compilation of data.  A separate department such as minor irrigation has to keep a close coordination with all such departments for compilation of minor irrigation data which was lacking in almost all the States/UTs.  The Planning Commission, Government of India compile data on minor irrigation through annual plan discussions in Planning Commission.  Due to the lack of the generation of data, a firm database was not available for minor irrigation sector.  Keeping this in view, the scheme Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics (RMIS), funded by the Centre was launched in 1987-88.  The centrally sponsored scheme is implemented by Minor Irrigation Division of the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India. One of the objectives of the scheme is to conduct census of minor irrigation works on quinquennial basis.  Under the scheme, statistical cells consisting of requisite staff have been created in each State/UT for compilation of minor irrigation statistics.  These statistical cells are in charge of collecting data relating to number of minor irrigation schemes, potential created/Utilised through these schemes and related information and communicate to the Ministry of Water Resources for compilation.