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Thread: Ministry of Water Resources - Status of Development.

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    Thumbs up Ministry of Water Resources - Status of Development.

    Ministry of Water Resources

    Status of Development
    Institutional Arrangements

    At the central level the Union Ministry of Water Resources is responsible for development, conservation and management of water as a national resource, i.e., for the general policy on water resources development and for technical assistance to the states on irrigation, multipurpose projects, ground water exploration and exploitation, command area development, drainage, flood control, water logging, sea erosion problems, dam safety and hydraulic structures for navigation and hydropower. It also oversees the regulation and development of inter-State rivers. These functions are carried out through various Central Organisations.Urban water supply and sewage disposal is handled by the Ministry of Urban Development while Rural Water Suppy comes in the purview of Department of Drinking Water under Ministry of Rural Development. The subject of Hydro-electric power and thermal power is the responsibility of the Ministry of Power. Pollution and environment control comes under the purview of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

    Water being a State subject, the State Governments have primary responsibility for use and control of this resource. The administrative control and responsibility for development of water rests with the various State Departments and Corporations. Major and medium irrigation is handled by the irrigation/water resources departments. Minor irrigation is looked after partly by water resources departments, minor irrigation corporations, Zilla Parishads/Panchayats and by the other departments such as agriculture. Urban water supply is generally the responsibility of public health departments and panchayats take care of rural water supply. Government tubewells are constructed and managed by the irrigation/water resources department or by tube well corporations set up for the purpose. Hydro-power is the responsibility of the State Electricity Boards.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Irrigation.

    Status of Development

    Irrigation

    The irrigation projects are classified into three categories viz major, medium and minor. Projects which have a Cultivable Command Area (CCA) of more than 10,000 ha. are termed as major projects, those which have a CCA of less than 10,000 ha. but more than 2,000 ha. are termed as medium projects and those which have a CCA of 2,000 ha. or less are known as minor projects. A broad assessment of the area that can be ultimately brought under irrigation, both by surface and ground water, made by the various States in sixties has indicated that ultimate irrigation potential of the country would be of the order of 113 m.ha.. However, the ultimate potential is 139 m.ha, the increase being primarily due to upward revision in assessed potential of minor ground water schemes and minor surface water schemes to 64 m.ha and 17 m.ha respectively. Minor irrigation projects have both surface and ground water as their source, while major and medium projects mostly exploit surface water resources.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - History of Irrigation Development.

    Status of Development

    History of Irrigation Development

    The history of irrigation development in India can be traced back to prehistoric times. Vedas and ancient Indian scriptures made references to wells, canals, tanks and dams which were beneficial to the community and their efficient operation and maintenance was the responsibility of the State. Civilization flourished on the banks of the rivers and harnessed the water for sustenance of life. According to the ancient Indian writers, the digging of a tank or well was amongst the greatest of the meritorious acts of a man. Brihaspathi, an ancient writer on law and politics, states that the construction and the repair of dams is a pious work and its burden should fall on the shoulders of rich men of the land. Vishnu Purana enjoins merit to a person who effects repairs to wells, gardens and dams.

    In a monsoon climate and an agrarian economy like India, irrigation has played a major role in the production process. There is evidence of the practice of irrigation since the establishment of settled agriculture during the Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC). These irrigation technologies were in the form of small and minor works, which could be operated by small households to irrigate small patches of land and did not require co-operative effort. Nearly all these irrigation technologies still exist in India with little technological change, and continue to be used by independent households for small holdings. The lack of evidence of large irrigation works at this time signifies the absence of large surplus that could be invested in bigger schemes or, in other words, the absence of rigid and unequal property rights. While village communities and co-operation in agriculture did exist as seen in well developed townships and economy, such co-operation in the large irrigation works was not needed, as these settlements were on the fertile and well irrigated Indus basin. The spread of agricultural settlements to less fertile and irrigated area led to co-operation in irrigation development and the emergence of larger irrigation works in the form of reservoirs and small canals. While the construction of small schemes was well within the capability of village communities, large irrigation works were to emerge only with the growth of states, empires and the intervention of the rulers. There used to emerge a close link between irrigation and the state. The king had at his disposal the power to mobilize labour which could be used for irrigation works.

    In the south, perennial irrigation may have begun with construction of the Grand Anicut by the Cholas as early as second century to provide irrigation from the Cauvery river. Wherever the topography and terrain permitted, it was an old practice in the region to impound the surface drainage water in tanks or reservoirs by throwing across an earthen dam with a surplus weir, where necessary, to take off excess water, and a sluice at a suitable level to irrigate the land below. Some of the tanks got supplemental supply from stream and river channels. The entire land-scape in the central and southern India is studded with numerous irrigation tanks which have been traced back to many centuries before the beginning of the Christian era. In northern India also there are a number of small canals in the upper valleys of rivers which are very old.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Irrigation During Medieval India.

    Status of Development

    Irrigation During Medieval India

    In the medieval India, rapid advances also took place in the construction of inundation canals. Water was blocked by constructing bunds across steams. This raised the water level and canals were constructed to take water to the fields. These bunds were built by both the state and private sources. Ghiyasuddin Tughluq (1220-1250 is credited to be the first ruler who encouraged digging canals. However, it is Fruz Tughlug (1351-86) who, inspired from central Asian experience, is considered to be the greatest canal builder before the nineteenth century. Irrigation is said to be one of the major reasons for the growth and expansion of the Vijayanagar empire in southern India in the fifteenth century. It may be noted that, but for exceptional cases, most of the canal irrigation prior to the arrival of the British was of the diversionary nature. The state, through the promotion of irrigation, had sought to enhance revenue and provide patronage through rewards of fertile land and other rights to different classes. Irrigation had also increased employment opportunities and helped in the generation of surplus for the maintenance of the army and the bureaucracy. As agricultural development was the pillar of the economy, irrigation systems were paid special attention. This is demonstrated by the fact that all the large, powerful and stable empires paid attention to irrigation development.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Irrigation Development Under British.

    Status of Development

    Irrigation Development Under British

    Irrigation development under British rule began with the renovation, improvement and extension of existing works, like the ones mentioned above. When enough experience and confidence had been gained, the Government ventured on new major works, like the Upper Ganga Canal, the Upper Bari Doab Canal and Krishna and Godavari Delta Systems, which were all river-diversion works of considerable size. The period from 1836 to 1866 marked the investigation, development and completion of these four major works. In 1867, the Government adopted the practice of taking up works, which promised a minimum net return. Thereafter, a number of projects were taken up. These included major canal works like the Sirhind, the Lower Ganga, the Agra and the Mutha Canals, and the Periyar Dam and canals. Some other major canal projects were also completed on the Indus system during this period. These included the Lower Swat, the Lower Sohag and Para, the Lower Chenab and the Sidhnai Canals, ali of which went to Pakistan in 1947.

    The recurrence of drought and famines during the second half of the nineteenth century necessitated the development of irrigation to give protection against the failure of crops and to reduce large scale expenditure on famine relief. As irrigation works in low rainfall tracts were not considered likely to meet the productivity test, they had to be financed from current revenues. Significant protective works constructed during the period were the Betwa Canal, the Nira Left Bank Canal, the Gokak Canal, the Khaswad Tank and the Rushikulya Canal. Between the two types of works, namely productive and protective, the former received greater attention from the Government. The gross area irrigated in British India by public works at the close of the nineteenth century was about 7.5 m.ha. Of this, 4.5 m.ha. came from minor works, like tanks, inundation canals etc. for which no separate capital accounts were maintained. The area irrigated by protective works was only a little more than 0.12 m.ha.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Irrigation Development at the Time of Independence.

    Status of Development

    Irrigation Development at the Time of Independence

    The net irrigated area in the Indian sub continent, comprising the British Provinces and Princely States, at the time of independence was about 28.2 m.ha. The partition of the country, however, brought about sudden and drastic changes, resulting in the apportionment of the irrigated area between the two countries; net irrigated area in India and Pakistan being 19.4 m.ha and 8.8 m.ha respectively. Major canal systems, including the Sutlej and Indus systems fell to Pakistanís share. East Bengal, now Bangladesh, which comprises the fertile Ganga Brahmaputra delta region also went to Pakistan. The irrigation works which remained with India, barring some of the old works in Uttar Pradesh and in the deltas of the South, were mostly of protective nature, meant more to ward off famine than to produce significant yields.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Plan Development.

    Status of Development

    Plan Development

    In the initial phase of water resources development during the plan period after independence, rapid harnessing of water resources was the prime objective. Accordingly, the State Governments were encouraged to expeditiously formulate and develop water resources projects for specific purposes like irrigation, flood control, hydropower generation, drinking water supply, industrial and various miscellaneous uses. As a result, a large number of projects comprising dams, barrages, hydropower structures, canal network etc. have come up all over the country in successive Five Year Plans. A milestone in water resources development in India is creation of a huge storage capability. Because of these created storage works it has now become possible to provide assured irrigation in the command area, to ensure supply for hydropower and thermal power plants located at different places and to meet requirement for various other uses. Flood moderation could be effected in flood prone basins, where storage has been provided. Besides, supply of drinking water in remote places throughout the year has become possible in different parts of the country.

    At the time of commencement of the First Five Year Plan in 1951, population of India was about 361 million and annual food grain production was 51 million tonnes (m.t.), which was not adequate. Import of food grains was then inevitable to cover up the shortage. Attaining self sufficiently in food was therefore given paramount importance in the plan period and in order to achieve the objective, various major, medium and minor irrigation and multi-purpose projects were formulated and implemented through successive Five Year Plans to create additional irrigation potential throughout the country. This drive compounded with green revolution in the agricultural sector, has enabled India to become marginally surplus country from a deficit one in food grains.

    Thus the net irrigated area is 39 percent of net sown are and 30 percent of total cultivable area. As stated earlier, the ultimate potential due to major and medium projects has been assessed as 58 m.ha. of which 64 per cent estimated to be developed.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Hydro-Electric Power.

    Status of Development

    Hydro-Electric Power

    India has a vast potential for hydro-power generation, particularly in the northern and north-eastern region. As per an estimate of Central Electricity Authority, the potential in the country is assessed as 84,000 MW at 60 per cent load factor, which is equivalent to about 450 billion units of annual energy generation. The basin wise distribution is as given below:

    Sl. No.
    Basin
    Potential at 60 per cent load factor (MW)
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    6.
    Indus Basin
    Brahmaputra Basin
    Ganga Basin
    Central India Basin
    West Flowing River System
    East Flowing River System

    Total
    20,000
    35,000
    11,000
    3,000
    6,000
    9,000

    84,000

    At the time of independence, out of total installed capacity of 1362 MW, hydro-power generation capacity stood at 508 MW. The capacity has since been raised to about 13,000 MW. In addition 6,000 MW is available from projects under construction. A potential of about 3,000 MW is contemplated from projects already cleared. The total potential harnessed/under harnessing would thus be about 22,000 MW which is nearly one-fourth of the estimated potential.
    Last edited by ca_news; 28-06-2011 at 02:37 PM.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Domestic Water Supply.

    Status of Development

    Domestic Water Supply

    The National Water Policy has assigned the highest priority for drinking water supply needs followed by irrigation, hydro-power, navigation and industrial and other uses. In the successive five year plans and the intervening annual plans, efforts have been made to rapidly develop water supply and sanitation systems. In the context of the "International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade", the Government of India launched the decade programmes in April, 1981 with a view to achieving population coverage of 100 percent water supply facilities in urban and rural areas, 80 per cent sanitation facilities in urban areas and 25 per cent sanitation facilities in rural areas respectively by the end of the decade i.e. March, 1991. However, due to financial and other constraints the targets originally set for the decade were scaled down to 90 per cent in the case of urban water supply and 85 per cent in the case of rural water supply, 50 per cent in the case of urban sanitation and 5 per cent in the case of rural sanitation respectively. As per policy adopted provision for drinking water is to be made in all water resources projects. The drinking water requirements of most of the mega cities/cities in India are met from reservoirs of irrigation/multi-purpose schemes existing in near by areas and eve by long distance transfer. Delhi getting drinking water from Tehri Dam and Chennai city from Krishna Water through Telugu Ganga Project are typical example.

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    Thumbs up Status of Development - Navigation.

    Status of Development

    Navigation

    Total navigable length of inland water-ways in the country is 15,783 km of which maximum stretch lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Kerala and Bihar successively. Amongst the river system, the Ganga has the largest navigable length followed by the Godavari, the Brahmaputra and the rivers of West Bengal. Waterways are having the unique advantage of accessibility to interior places. Besides, they provide cheaper means of transport with far less pollution and communicational obstacles. The waterways traffic movement has gone up progressively from 0.11 m.t. in 1980-81 to 0.33 m.t. in 1994-95.

    The development of inland water transport is of crucial importance from the point of energy conservation as well. The ten waterways identified for consideration for being declared as national waterways are namely:

    • The Ganga-Bhagirath-hoogli
    • The Brahmaputra
    • The Mandavi, Zuari river and the Cumbarjua Canal in Goa
    • The Mahanadi
    • The Godavari
    • The Narmada
    • The Sunderbans Area
    • The Krishna
    • The Tapi
    • The West Coast Canal.

    The Ganga Ė Bhagirath-Hoogli and Brahmaputra have already been declared as National Waterways. Farakka Navigation Lock has been opened for transport, thus allowing transport for upstream reaches of Ganga with Calcutta. With network of national waterways the carriage and cargo in this sector in the 10 river systems is expected to increase by 35 m.t. per year. The consumptive use of water for navigation is not substantial as the wastage is only at the point of terminal storage projects.

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