The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has accepted Telangana’s nomination of Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district in the ICID Register of Heritage Irrigation Structures (HIS).
The HIS award is a deserving recognition to this irrigation facility which has provided precious water for paddy crops in its designed ayacut of 13,100 acres since its construction in 1891-92.
It has also served as a picnic spot for people from an area which may not be as vast its catchment area of nearly 40,000 sq miles but is spread over old undivided Adilabad, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts.
The anicut, which is English word for Telugu’s ana-katta, meaning a rainfall bund, was built by Nawab Ikbal-ud-Dowla who bore the tile of Vicar-ul-Umrah Bahadur in 1891-92 about 50 km downstream of the Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP).
Ottley was the engineer and Khanapur was a jagir of the Nawabs during the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad.
Sadarmatt bund is 437.4 m long on its left flank and 23.8 m on its right flank.
The left canal is 21.5 km long while the right canal is 10 km and the distributory is 12 km in length irrigating 5,700 acres, 3,400 acres and 4,000 acres respectively.
The Pedda Cheruvu (big tank in Telugu) located on the outskirts of this district headquarters town is spread over an area of 618 acres.
It was built in 1897 during the rule of Mir Mahaboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad State.
It has a 1.8-km-long tank bund and 145-metre weir and three sluices. It’s catchment area is spread over 68.97 sq. km.
With a capacity of 0.175 tmcft it provides water for irrigation to over 900 acres in Kamareddy, Sarampally, Narsampally and old Rajampet.
It also provides drinking water for residents of the area.
Womenfolk play Bathukamma during the Navaratrotsavalu on its bund and immerse them in its waters.
This tank was taken up under the second round of Mission Kakatiya to be developed as a mini tank bund with an estimated outlay of ₹ 6.6 crore.
International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
The ICID is a Technical and Voluntary Not-for-profit, International NGO, dedicated to enhance the world-wide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management, and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands.
The ICID By-laws have been enacted its International Executive Council for the due implementation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Commission.
It is headquartered in New Delhi.
ICID has been involved in the global discussions leading to Agenda 21, World Water Vision, World Water Forums etc., which have become the focal point of several of its technical activities.
In recognition of its significant contribution to the programs and objectives of International Year of Peace proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, on 15 September 1987 ICID was designated as a Peace Messenger by the UN Secretary General.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Bansagar Canal Project, Mapping of Son River
Mains level: Not Much
PM Modi dedicated the Bansagar Canal Project to the Nation.
This project will provide a big boost to irrigation in the region, and will be greatly beneficial for the farmers of Mirzapur and Allahabad districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Bansagar or Ban Sagar Dam is a multipurpose river Valley Project on Son River situated in the Ganges Basin in Madhya Pradesh, India with both irrigation and 435 MW of hydroelectric power generation.
It was commissioned in 2008.
The project was called “Bansagar” after Bana Bhatt, the renowned Sanskrit scholar of the 7th century in the court of Harsha (who also wrote Harshacharita).
After 2014, this project was made a part of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, and all efforts were made to complete it.
Bansagar will irrigate an area of 2,490 km² in Madhya Pradesh, 1,500 km²; in Uttar Pradesh and 940 km² in Bihar.
About Son River
Son River of central India is the second largest of the Ganges’s southern tributaries after Yamuna River.
The Son originates near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh just east of the headwater of the Narmada River, and flows north-northwest through Madhya Pradesh state before turning sharply eastward where it encounters the southwest-northeast-Kaimur Range.
Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Different types of irrigation & irrigation systems storage
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)
Mains level: Impending water crisis in India and ways to tackle it
Water scarcity in India
Over the past few months, concern and awareness about water resources have reached an unprecedented high
Two successive events have led to such a watershed change in discussion on water resources
First, the news came in that Shimla is running out of water and was forced to turn away tourists that drive the city’s economy during summer
Second, NITI Aayog released the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) in June
Findings in CWMI
The CWMI is a pioneering exercise that seeks to identify, target and improve key water resources-related indicators
The index has a set of 28 key performance indicators (KPIs) covering irrigation status, drinking water and other water-related sectors. Critical areas such as source augmentation, major and medium irrigation, watershed development, participatory irrigation practices, sustainable on-farm water use practices, rural drinking water, urban water supply and sanitation
This index highlighted the current plight, showing how low-performing states house approximately 50% of India’s population, and how 21 major cities may run out of the groundwater by 2021
Water usage pattern in India
Presently, irrigation water use accounts for 80% of the available water, i.e. 700 BCM
Within the limited availability of 1,137 BCM, we need to cater to the growing demand of the population, including domestic water requirement, industrial requirement, ecology sustenance, and power generation requirement
The present level of irrigation efficiency for surface and groundwater is 30% and 55%, respectively
Measures that need to be taken
1 First, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana and other water-deficient states should promptly move towards micro-irrigation systems
Conventional surface irrigation provides 60-70% efficiency, whereas, higher efficiency of up to 70-80% with sprinkler and 90% with drip irrigation systems can be achieved
2 Second, the states should continue to focus on command area development (CAD)
This is now part of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) which focuses on “more crop per drop”
CAD will play a critical role in bridging the gap between irrigation potential created (IPC) and irrigation potential utilized (IPU)
3 Third, the cropping patterns in the states should be changed as per the agro-climatic zones
Improper cropping patterns affect both crop productivity and irrigation efficiency
Now it is time to focus on more nuanced aspects of water-use efficiency and agriculture productivity
4 Fourth, we need to address the issue of fragmentation in farming
There are two measures to tackle this issue
States can expedite the adoption of the Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016—which can lead to consolidation of small farms
The second option may provide early gains—creating and ramping up farmer producer organizations (FPO)
FPOs provide a sense of ownership to farmers and encourage community-level involvement with lower transaction costs
Almost 70% farmers in India are marginal farmers and the average farm size is 1.15 hectares. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity in forming the FPOs
This will lead to economies of scale on farm produce, water-usage and cost of production
The above measures have huge scope for changing the landscape of water efficiency in the irrigation sector, which accounts for the majority of water resource consumption in India
Doubling farmers income by 2022 is a noble vision, but preserving water resources for the sustainable growth of India is as critical
Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Composite Water Management Index, Agriculture genomics
Mains level: Impact of Green revolution on cropping patterns in India
NITI Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index
It underscores the looming threat of India’s water crisis
Current proportions are severe—about 200,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to water—and are set to become far more so
Agriculture is the biggest user
It consumes about 83% of India’s freshwater resources
The roots of the problem may lie in the Green Revolution
Green revolution included skewed incentive structures—heavily subsidized electricity, water and fertilizers for farmers
This has also played a significant role in the misalignment of crop patterns in the country
Misalignments in cropping
The production of water-thirsty crops like paddy and sugarcane takes place in the Punjab-Haryana belt and Maharashtra respectively
Environmentalists have often argued that sugar cane is the cause of chronic drought in Marathwada
The Nabard-Icrier report makes an argument for moving such high water-reliant crops to other, relatively water-abundant areas
In regions with high irrigation water productivity better suited to water-intensive crops—such as Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh—poor power supply and other such problems make cultivation of water-intensive crops non-remunerative
India’s public sector agriculture research institutions led by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research had released a record 313 new crop varieties during 2016-17
These crops would increase farm production while minimizing the use of inputs
The list of new crops includes an early maturing (52-55 days) variety of mung pulse—the first of its kind in the world
Developments like these have the potential to help states adopt a more sustainable cropping pattern without disrupting the flow of their income streams
Investing in readjusting irrigation patterns is equally important for fulfilling the “more crop per drop” objective
Natural water systems lose their dilution capacity on becoming hydrologically deficient, leading to a higher concentration of pollutants
To deal with such water-management challenges in rivers and groundwater, boosting alternative irritation techniques such as drip irrigation is a necessity
Irrigation techniques such as the alternate wetting and drying method (AWD)—a widely practiced technique in the Philippines and Vietnam can also be used
The tasks of making agriculture remunerative as well as water-friendly eventually coincide
India still lags behind its Asian neighbors in agriculture genomics—the process of increasing agricultural productivity by developing crops with promising agronomic traits
Research and development in multi-resistant, water-efficient and high-yielding crops along with investment in alternative modes of irrigation need to be taken up
Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, Rivers involved in it.
Mains level: Read the attached story
What’s the project?
The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme taken up by the government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.
After conducting a highly advanced Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey for a couple of months, the government separated the original component serving the Adilabad area as the Pranahitha project.
The project is designed to irrigate 7,38,851 hectares (over 18.47 lakh acres) uplands in the erstwhile districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy.
Why is it Unique?
Claimed to be the costliest irrigation project to be taken up by any State till date with an estimated cost of ₹80,500 crore.
KLIP has many unique features, including the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir.
The project would also utilize the highest capacity pumps, up to 139 MW, in the country to lift water.
As a part GS-3 – Irrigation systems, We need to focus on relevant projects/schemes launched in 2015-16. We will try to bring all such important projects/schemes. One such project is, “Neeranchal” for the Watershed Component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY), Let’s see it in brief!
What is a watershed?
A watershed also known as drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain, melting snow or ice converges to a single point at a lower elevation, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake etc.
What is watershed management?
Watershed management is an adaptive, comprehensive, integrated multi-resource management planning process that seeks to balance healthy ecological, economic, and cultural/social conditions within a watershed.
Watershed management serves to integrate planning for land and water; it takes into account both ground and surface water flow, recognizing and planning for the interaction of water, plants, animals and human land use found within the physical boundaries of a watershed.
What are the objectives of Neeranchal?
The Neeranchal Project will support PMKSY to improve watershed management practices and demonstrate measurable results in selected sub-watersheds
It will introduce new hydrological approaches and innovative tools for community participation with a more integrated watershed planning process
Pilot new field practices that will improve conservation outcomes, water availability, agricultural yields and climate resilience, and scale up a more effective monitoring and evaluation system to track performance
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21)
Let’s first learn about Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)
PMKSY is a central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes
The vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in a focused manner
With end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities
A dynamic annual fund allocationmethodology mandates states, to allot more funds to irrigation sectors for becoming eligible to access funds under this scheme, is being considered
The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana programme should concentrate on 2 important things –
First, it should quickly put to use 20–40 million ha of unutilised irrigation potential created in major, medium and minor irrigation projects
Second, it should provide better quality power rations to farmers during the time of peak irrigation demand.
Madhya Pradesh has done precisely this and multiplied the state’s irrigated area quickly, at small incremental cost, delivering double-digit agricultural growth
What about funding ?
The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a US$ 178.50 million credit for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project to improve watershed management in rural rainfed areas
The credit will support the watershed activities of the PMKSY in selected states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan
It will cover about 400 sub-watersheds of about 5,000 ha each and reach approximately 482,000 farmer households and two million people
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period
[IDA – International financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group]
Concerns that will be addressed by Neeranchal-
Bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India
Build systems that ensure watershed programmes and rainfed irrigation management practices are better focused, and more coordinated, and have quantifiable results
Devise strategies for the sustainability of improved watershed. management practices in programme areas, even after the withdrawal of project support
Through the watershed plus approach, support improved equity, livelihoods, and incomes through forward linkages, on a platform of inclusiveness and local participation
What are the benefits?
Lead to reducing surface runoff of rainwater
It will increase recharge of groundwater and better availability of water in rainfed areas
It resulting in incremental rainfed agriculture productivity, enhanced milk yield and increased cropping intensity through better convergence related programmes in project areas
It will strengthen and provide technical assistance to enhance delivery capacity
This is an area development programme and all people living in the project area will be benefitted
What are the challenges ahead?
Enhanced participation of communities, building stronger capacities and systems to plan, implement, monitor and post-project sustainability of local institutions and assets
These challenges, if not resolved, can result in implementation delays, slow disbursements and benefits