Update on dams, options & related issues sandrp issue four june 2002

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Local Water Development Project brings prosperity A project under Kandi (Integrated Watershed) Development Project has brought posperity to farmers of Pargana village in Nurpur Subdivision. A 400 m long canal dug from Jabber rivulet made possible by contributions of the village and the project, has created a perennial irrigation source for the farmers. (TRIBUNE 040302)
Rajkheta: Where every drops counts Rajkheta one of the backward and drought prone villages in Chhattisgarh has shown what people’s participation in water conservation can achieve. Catching water where it falls has been the driving dictum in the efforts by a small group of people under the aegis of the Surguja Gramin Vikas Sansthan. Bunding of arable fields, check dams and in situ water conservation has led to dramatic rise in water table by 20 to 30 feet, as against 50-60 feet depth in the past. Five years back only 0.2 % of the 4 998 Ha was under some form of irrigation. Irrigation to 243 Ha of land is now assured: a significant gain of 230 Ha in less than 5 years with well irrigation within reach of most of the 249 households in the village. The total investment made was Rs 3.1 M with tribals contributing additional Rs 0.6 M by way of labour. (Third World Network Features 220302)
Gujarat Water Conservation Gujarat govt. has decided to implement the Sardar Patel Sahbhagi Jalsanchay Yojana all over the state instead of Saurashtra alone where it has met with success. About 40 000 checkdams will be constructed under the scheme for which the Govt. will allocate over Rs 248.4 M. The minister said the govt. had in last four years increased the irrigation potential to 2.7 M Ha as compared with 1.93 M Ha in 1998. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 230302)
WB loan for Tanks The WB has approved a $ 98.9 M credit for the Karnataka Community-Based Tank Management Project that supports a local approach to managing water resources in rural communities by returning the responsibility for tank development to village-level user groups. This project will revitalise about 2 000 existing tank systems to benefit about 1.5 M rural households. (http://www.worldbank.org.in)
Kindi dam in Karnataka The Govt. is constructing Kindi Dam to be built across the river North Pinakini, at a cost of Rs 8.7 M to provide irrigation to over 700 Ha of land and arrest depletion of the water table in and around Gowribidanur taluk. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 280302)
Canal irrigated area comes down In the period 1990-98, the net irrigated area has increased from 48.023 M Ha to 54.563 M Ha, an increase of about 6.5 M Ha. As a percentage of net sown area, in this period, net irrigated area has gone up from 33.61% to 38.42%. Most of the increase has come from tubewells. The net irrigated area under tubewells has increased from 14.257 M Ha in 1990 to 18.432 M Ha in 1998.In the same period, the net sown area under canals has come down from 17.453 M Ha to 17.092 M Ha. Some of the agricultural states are allocating less to irrigation. e.g. in UP, the allocation for irrigation & flood control came down from the peak of Rs 14.341 B in 1996-97 to Rs 9.07 B in 2001-02. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 260302)
Move to privatise irrigation in East? Union Agricultural Secretary has said that it has been decided to allow private sector in irrigation water management in Eastern India. Govt. will give soft loans to private companies for this. Discussion is also on to allow private companies in foodgrains market. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 050402)
CAG: Financial bungling in Orissa irrigation projects The latest CAG report submitted in the Orissa Assembly pointed that there was 26 % cost overrun in capital projects in the state. The irregularities involved extra and unproductive spending to the tune of Rs 11.152 B, which constituted nearly 36.24 % of the total expenditure of the WRD during the last five years. Despite increase in assured irrigation potential from 17 to 43 % during 1993-2000, foodgrain production sharply dropped by an alarming 28 % owing to the lack of maintenance of irrigation facilities. [Incidentally this is the same period when WB funded Orissa Water Resources Consolidation Project was in operation.] There is a gap of nearly 47 % between the creation and utilisation of irrigation potential. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 240302)
No tangible benefits from Kerala Irrigation projects The Evaluation Division of the Planning Board, which evaluated nine irrigation projects in Kerala, has found that after spending Rs 12.89 B, these projects have not brought any tangible benefits. As per revised estimates at 1999 rates, the total cost of these nine projects stood at Rs 24.629 B, the actual cost likely to be much more. The increase in cost in the original estimate was as high as 3329 % for some projects. The Kallada Irrigation Project was the biggest irrigation scheme in the State, taken for execution in 1961 at an estimated cost of Rs 132.8 M. The revised estimate as per the 1999 rates stood at Rs 7.60 B. A huge amount of Rs 6.20 B had been spent on it. The original estimate of the Idamalayar project was Rs 178.50 M when commenced in 1981. The latest estimated cost is Rs 2.986 B. The project was schedule to be completed by the end of Eighth Plan. The project is now proposed to be completed by 2007-08. (THE HINDU-D 290402)
Rs 720 M drain on 12 J&K irrigation schemes According to the report of CAG, top officials and other concerned agencies in J&K are responsible for massive irregularities and mis-appropriation of public funds worth millions and wasteful expenditure of over Rs 720 M on the works, which lacked administrative approval and requisite technical sanctions. The officials of at least 17 Divisions in the State have been held responsible for creating extra liability of Rs 170 M by executing un-approved works for which no funds were ever allotted. The department has failed to provide any relief to the people despite the expenditure of Rs 4.149 B during the period from 1997-2001. The loan of over Rs 300 M taken from NABARD and Central Government during 1996-2001 was inefficiently utilised. At least 12 irrigation schemes taken up for execution during the period 1972—84 were incomplete as of April 2001. The revised estimated cost of these projects has increased to 359 %. Funds over rupees 70 M have already been spent on these schemes in last over 25-30 years. Earlier the estimated cost had been assessed as Rs 7.6 M but now it has been shot up to Rs 3.52 B. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 110402)
Heavy Leakage in canals in Karnataka A WRD survey has revealed leakage to the extent of 15 - 18 tmcft in 37 main canals and distributaries of major and medium irrigation projects, assuming water release for 180 days in a year. The Water Resources Minister said the study was taken up after he was convinced of the truth of complaints of leakage during a visit to Malprabha Project due to poor quality of work or lack of maintenance. The leakage in the Malprabha (leakage 500 cusecs), going on for years, was to the extent of 20 %. (THE HINDU-D 140302)
Maharashtra Irrigation Corps default, Ratings down MKVDC, an undertaking of the govt. of Maharashtra, have defaulted on interest payment of around Rs 740 M. The district central cooperative banks and the apex cooperative banks have an exposure of Rs 10 B in the bonds. The cooperative banks have to incur losses if they try to sell the bonds in the market. MKVDC owes contractors around Rs 20 B. The corporation was forced to raise new loans to service old loans and to pay off contractors’ dues.

  • CRISIL has placed the ratings assigned to Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (five bond programmes aggregating Rs 21.34 B), Konkan Irrigation Development Crop (Rs 310 M), Tapi Irrigation Development Corp (Rs 910 M) and Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corp (two issues – Rs 3.08 B) under ‘watch with negative implications’ following delay in interest payment. Since the bond issuers were unlikely to generate adequate revenues for debt servicing, the budgetary support by state govt. would support such obligations. These ratings, are thus reflective of the credit quality of GOM, says CRISIL. Projects like MKVDC have been adjudged by the rating agencies as economically unviable. (BUSINESS STANDARD 180402, INDIAN EXPRESS 200402, THE ECONOMIC TIMES 210402)

Water thefts by ‘big’ farmers in Haryana Farmers in the villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Water Service Division and Samalkha subdivision have been facing an acute shortage of canal water for irrigation for the past few months. They alleged that theft of irrigation water by influential farmers backed by political bosses of ruling party and some officials is rampant. (THE TRIBUNE 200302)
Rs 1800 B required to complete ongoing projects Due to endemic and chronic time and cost overruns in major and medium irrigation projects, at least Rs 1800 B will be required during tenth and eleventh five year plans to complete some 160 ongoing projects.

  • Budget hikes allocation for irrigation The Union Budget for 2002-03 has raised the allocation for Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program to Rs 28 B from Rs 20 B. The allocation for RIDF, a substantial portion of which goes for irrigation, has gone up from Rs 50 B to Rs 55 B. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 250302, BUSINESS STANDARD 010302)

Balh irrigation project HP govt. has approved the Rs. 420 M Balh valley medium irrigation project to irrigate areas on the left bank of the Suketi, a tributary of the Beas. (THE TRIBUNE 020402)
Canal system for Chhattisgarh A Rs 1.75 B canal system for irrigating 68 000 Ha of land in Chhattisgarh will be in place by June 2003. The 834 km canal is the biggest irrigation project in Chhattisgarh and will be completed in a period of 15 months. (THE HINDU-D 190302)

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