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Water is an important input for Agricultural output and food security. Under arid and semi arid areas, irrigation becomes a more vital requirement. Although Major and Medium Irrigation projects provide irrigation to larger areas, they have a long gestation period, require heavy investments and have other limitations. On the other hand Minor Irrigation projects have smaller gestation period, require smaller investment and the benefit reach the farmers immediately. Ground water schemes provide irrigation through out the year and are more dependable which help in sustaining agricultural production over the years. Most of the Minor Irrigation projects are being executed and maintained by farmers.

Minor Irrigation projects including those projects which were built by Government departments need periodical review for appropriate future action. Therefore, Government of India is supporting Minor Irrigation Census works for building up required data base in the States and Union Territories.  First Minor Irrigation Census was carried out with reference year 1986-87 & the Census report was published during November, 1993.  Subsequently, second Minor Irrigation Census was carried out with reference year 1993-94 & the report was published during March, 2001. In order to update the database, the third Census of Minor Irrigation projects was carried out under “Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics Scheme” with reference year 2000-01.  This census covers a larger database on Minor Irrigation projects which can be used for further planning to strengthen Irrigation Sector in general and Minor Irrigation Sector in particular.

The third Census report provides scheme-wise information in respect of 28 States and 5 Union Territories. The Report brings out various useful information and data on Minor Irrigation projects that will be of immense use to concerned users  as well as the Planners and Administrators.  I hope the data given in this report will be found to be very useful by a wide spectrum of users.

     --- s/d --- 
Additional Secretary
Ministry of Water Resources
Government of India
Place: New Delhi
Dated: November, 2005