The entire Chhattisgarh state falls under Rice-agro-climatic zone. 80% population of the state is rural and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture and agriculture based small industries.
The economy of the state is mainly based on agriculture and forestry. The agriculture sector contributes around 38% to the State’s Net Domestic Product. Of the total workforce of 8.3 million, 5.9 million (71%) are engaged in agriculture.
Large variation in the yearly rainfall directly affects the main crop i.e. Paddy. Obviously, irrigation is the prime need of the state for its overall development and therefore the state government has given top priority to development of irrigation potential.
Net sown area of the Chhattisgarh state is 4.683 Million hectares and the gross sown area is 5.561 Million hectares.
It is estimated that about 75% of the gross sown area of the state can be irrigated with proper use and management of available water resources. Irrigation potential was 1.328 Million hectares at the time of formation of the state (i.e. on 1st November 2000) which was 23% of the gross sown area. The irrigation potential has now been raised to 1.844 Million hectares at the end of Mar 2012 which is 33.15% of gross sown area.
Apart from the state budget, irrigation projects are also being financially assisted by Central Government (AIBP), ADB, and NABARD etc.
Irrigation Potential Created and Utilised
|Table-1 : Districtwise Irrigation Potential Created and utilised (March 2011):|
|S. No.||District||Irrigation Potential Created
|Irrigation Potential Utilised
|8||North Bastar (Kanker)||35615||5741||41356||14711||2178||16889|
|There is wide gap between potential created and actual irrigation in the state is mainly due to:|
|1.||Inadequate Beneficiary participation in design and maintenance of irrigation projects|
|A new Farmers Participation in Irrigation Management act has been enacted in 2006. Elections of WUA's were held in the state in 2007 and WUA's have started functioning,
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|2.||Infrastructure deterioration due to low allocations in maintenance.|
|3.||Absence of water courses from outlets of irrigation canals to fields.|
|Construction of water courses is being carried out for Major and Medium irrigation projects by Ayacut Department.|
Inadequate double cropping
Many of the projects are designed for Kharif as well as some rabi irrigation and this Rabi potential is highly unutilised which is evident from Table -1 above
|The department is leaving no stone unturned for increasing the irrigated area in the state. Many projects for creation of additional irrigation potential, restoration of irrigation capacity of existing projects, and increasing the utilisation of the created potential have been taken up.|
Thomas J. Watson