Inter-linking of river can raise irrigation

December 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

Thanks to http://kalahandia.blogspot.com/ for the pointer. Expressbuzz, Dec 21, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: Union Water Resources Secretary UN Panjiar today revived the controversial river inter-linking issue saying the project would increase the irrigation potential by utilising surplus flood water.

“There is scope for further increasing the ultimate irrigation potential by at least 35 million hectare through inter-linking which can reduce the flood damages considerably by diverting the surplus flood water to deficient region or basin where the excess flood water can be utilised,” he said.

He was addressing a national seminar on “Water Resources Management in 21st Century with special reference to Orissa’’ here.

With 80 percent run-off generated during the monsoons, conservation of water through storage – surface and underground – is very important to address the problems, Panjiar said. However, per capita surface storage capacity in India is very low.

Against per capita storage of 6103 cubic metre in Russia, 4743 in Australia, 3145 in Brazil, 1964 in USA and 753 in South Africa, India’s rate is 219.

“Available surface water storage capacity in India is 225 BCM presently and another 64 BCM storage capacity projects are under construction. If all these projects under consideration are implemented, they would provide 108 BCM more storage capacity,’’ Panjiar said.

However, protests from the green brigade has had stalling effect on both the river inter-linking as well as storage projects, he hinted.

The Union Water Resource Secretary felt Orissa needs to pull up its socks to improve irrigation. The net sown area is about 5.74 mha and the net irrigated area is about 1.85 mha, about 32 percent of the net sown area which indicates there is a need to bring more cropped area under assured irrigation to increase agriculture productivity.

There is great potential for water resources and irrigation development, the Union Secretary said adding, little progress has been made yet which is why green revolution has not made much headway in Orissa.

“While the uncertain monsoon rains cause flood ravages in Deltaic region, scarcity of precipitation in the western region, especially in Kalahandi and Balangir districts create drought spells frequently. A close study of planned development would reveal that about 50 percent of the state’s outlay has been in the field of irrigation and power. But in spite of all the efforts, the progress of irrigation development in the state has not picked up the national average,’’ he said.

The seminar was organised by Alumni Association of National Institute of Technology, Rourkela.

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Entry filed under: Agriculture, Agriculture and Irrigation, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Region watch.

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