India – Irrigation


While the Government of India has a ministry for water resources, many state governments do not have separate ministries for irrigation or water resources. In some state governments, Public Works Department looks after irrigation. That too mainly on regulation like opening and closing of the dam water. It would be useful if each state government had a separate ministry for irrigation. In addition to constructing new dams and canals, this ministry should have the following responsibilities;

  1. Linking rivers in the state. There is no need to mix this issue with linking rivers of the country as a whole.
  2. Creating links among lakes and between lakes and rivers.
  3. Lake management including deepening lakes and continuously desilting them
  4. Creating new lakes to ensure that each village has a lake
  5. Water management including draining rain water in pits and other shallow water into the nearby lakes. Water left in pits evaporates and it does not recharge ground water.
  6. Keeping the lakes and rivers clean
  7. Cleaning waste water and then using the same for irrigation without letting into the lake. This will ensure that lake water is not contaminated and this water can be used for drinking after purification.
  8. Cleaning river banks and ensuring that no garbage is dumped there
  9. Sanctioning loans for digging irrigation wells including bore wells. If lakes have water, digging wells will not lower the water table. It is wrong to ban new bore wells, as was seriously thought of by government sometime ago.