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No of micro irrigation schemes up 1.42 million between 2013-14 and 2017-18

Out of 23.14 million MI schemes examined, 21.93 million (94.8 per cent) constitute groundwater schemes, while 1.21 million (5.2 per cent) are classified as Surface Water Schemes

The ministry has said the Chhattisgarh tender received bids 40 per cent higher than received in the tender floated by EESL

The census data revealed that Uttar Pradesh claims the largest share of MI schemes (File)

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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There has been an increase of about 1.42 million micro irrigation schemes between 2013-14 and 2017-18, according to latest official census data released on Saturday.
The sixth census of minor irrigation (MI) schemes showed that the number of both groundwater and surface water schemes have increased at the national level.
Out of 23.14 million MI schemes examined, 21.93 million (94.8 per cent) constitute groundwater schemes, while 1.21 million (5.2 per cent) are classified as Surface Water Schemes.
This underscores the substantial reliance on groundwater resources for irrigation needs.
There has been a delay in release of the 6th census due to COVID-19 and work on the 7th census has already been started, a senior official said.
The census data revealed that Uttar Pradesh claims the largest share of MI schemes, closely trailed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Defined as structures within either groundwater or surface water categories with a Culturable Command Area (CCA) up to 2,000 hectares, these minor irrigation schemes have surged by about 1.42 million, according to the latest census.
The sixth census records a total of 23.1 million schemes compared to 21.7 million in the fifth census, signifying a 6.9 per cent increase in groundwater schemes and 1.2 per cent in surface water schemes at the national level.
The census differentiates between groundwater and surface water categories, including dug wells, shallow, medium, and deep tube wells. Dug wells, encompassing open wells of varying dimensions, are pivotal in extracting water for irrigation.
States such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana dominate in groundwater schemes, whereas Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, and Jharkhand exhibit the highest share in surface water schemes.
Among the states and union territories surveyed, 10 states boast more than 10 lakh MI schemes, with 7 states harbouring MI schemes ranging between 1 lakh and 10 lakh. The remaining 15 states/UTs, however, host fewer than 1 lakh schemes.
Majority of these schemes (76 per cent ) utilize electricity as a source of energy followed by diesel (22.2 per cent).
There has been an improvement in water use efficiency and decline in wastage of water through use of improved water distribution devices over the years.
Out of 22.44 million 'in use' MI schemes in 6th MI census, about 3.2 million schemes were having constraints in utilisation due to reasons like mechanical breakdown, non-availability of adequate power supply, less discharge of water, etc.
Notably, the census also emphasized the shifting dynamics of irrigation dependency, with an increase in Irrigation Potential Utilized (IPU) from groundwater schemes and a decline from surface water schemes.
Financially, the majority of MI schemes (96.6 per cent) remain privately owned, primarily by individual farmers or groups. This pattern highlights the schemes' accessibility for irrigation, especially among small and marginal farmers.
The census further highlighted shifts in water use efficiency and distribution mechanisms, demonstrating the evolution of irrigation practices over time.
So far, five censuses have been conducted with reference year 1986-87, 1993-94, 2000-01, 2006-07 and 2013-14. The 6th minor irrigation census with reference year 2017-18 was completed in 32 states/ UTs.

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First Published: Aug 26 2023 | 8:02 PM IST

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