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CENSUS OF MINOR IRRIGATION SCHEMES 

or 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 utilisation 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 “Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics” (RMIS) of Ministry of Water Resources in all the States/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 utilised, 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, Types and Status of Schemes, Source 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 States/UTs. and All India Census report was published in March 2001. 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 finalisation of the results, it could not be included in the report.  

The 3rd MI Census has been conducted in 33 States (except Daman & Diu and Lakshdweep) with reference year 2000-01. Preliminary work on planning of the Census was initiated in the year 2000 in the Ministry. After detail discussions with the States, the schedule and other modalities were finalised before the start of the field work by July 2001. The methodology and the coverage of 3rd Census is same as of 2nd Census except slight modification in collection of information. The items on Length of the distribution channel (in mtr.)  in all schedules has been deleted as per the discussion with State Governments. Further, the information on type of storages in Surface Flow Schemes has been collected separately for Tanks and for other storages (Ponds & Bandhies) in the third census. All other items remain unchanged.

The format of the schedule used in the Third Census is given in Appendix II. 

The Census was targeted for completion by 2003 but due to delay in completion of field and processing work in some States the all India compilation of data could be taken up in June 2005 only. The data collected through Census have been tabulated as State wise aggregates in two sets. 

Integrated Table : contains aggregate  table on key items viz Number and irrigation potential of MI Schemes in use and not in use, Crop wise irrigation and supplementary irrigation by MI Schemes, use of pumps in MI Schemes and Constraints in utilisation of MI Schemes.

Schemewise Tables : contains detail tables on other important aspects of MI Schemes. The items covered are ownership of the scheme, holding size and social status of owner, type and status of scheme, source of finance and water lifting and water distribution devices of MI Schemes. 

Statewise tables are given in Annexure. District wise tables for the schemes are available on the website of the Ministry of Water Resources along with the present report (http://mowr.gov.in)