Participatory Irrigation Management

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Policy Initiative in the field of Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM)

The DSC since it's beginning in 1994, has been striving for the spread and success of Participatory Irrigation Management in Gujarat state. At the initiative of its Chairman, Shri Anil Shah, a high level working group for PIM chaired by Chief Secretary of GoG was set up in March 1994, which constituted the working group to review and take operational decisions regarding PIM. As a result, GoG declared adoption of principles of farmers participation in planning, implementing and operating irrigation systems and role of NGOs in catalysing and supporting farmers participation in all irrigation projects of state vide G.R dt. 1/6/95 . To further streamline this transactions, about 40 important Government orders influencing the policy matters pertaining to PIM have been issued so far by government of Gujarat at the initiative of Development Support Centre. Some of the important policy initiatives are:

  • DSC prepared byelaws for irrigation co-operative which were approved by Registrar Co-operative Societies. Gujarat State (Dt.18/3/95)
  • Orders launching 13 pilot projects to serve as "learning laboratories" in PIM (Dt-5.1995)
  • Policy to welcome & provide financial assistance to NGOs that are actively promoting PIM and providing community organising services for motivating farmers to form their own institution (Dt-29/5/95)
  • Setting target of covering 50% of the command area of Government irrigation sources to be turned over to farmers' organisations by year 2003 (Dt-22/11/95)
  • Finalization of Memorandum of Understanding, providing the terms and conditions for transfer of management, responsibilities & role of farmers organisations in managing irrigation systems (Dt-22/11/95).
  • Simplifying the procedure of implication of PIM and quality testing of materials, members of work done etc.(Dt.-30/11/95)
  • Guidelines for extending PIM beyond pilot projects (Dt-20/9/96)
  • Deciding policy of revising defunct WUAs (Dt-15/2/97)
  • Deciding format of agreement between Government & WUA to carryout renovation work of canals (Dt- 9/5/97)
  • Deciding including a clause in confidential report of officers regarding /her interest and efforts in PIM( Dt- 28/7/97)
  • Deciding guidelines for working out volumetric rates for irrigation water to be given to WUAs (Dt-30/9/97)
  • Constituting co-ordination committee for PIM at circle level and district level for planning and review of PIM (Dt-1/10/97)
  • Constituting planning group for training on PIM(Dt-17/12/98)
  • Constituting Task Force on PIM for accelerating PIM in Gujarat (Dt-31/10/2001)
  • Installation of gates on outlets in system designed on principles of RWS (Dt-23/3/05)
  • Transferring canal network to willing IC's before rehabilitation (Dt. 14-06-05)
  • Deciding rebate for various levels of farmers organisations i.e. for District Committees, Branch Committee & Project Committees for major, medium & minor projects. (Dt 16.12.06)
  • Enactment of PIM Act for accelerating PIM in the state(May 2007)
  • Allowing filling of tanks from canals for drinking and domestic purposes and providing bathing ghats on canal on demand from villagers.(Dt 24.04.08)
  • Approving by SSNNL the revisied format of MoU to be executed between WUA & SSNNL for turnover of irrigation management to WUAs(Dt.01.01.2009)
  • Finalizing criteria's' for selection of NGOs to work for PIM in the command area of Sardar Sarovar Project.
  • GoG accepted DSC's scheme, costing Rs.1293 lakhs for developing PIM in 51700 Ha. command area of selected projects of North Gujarat in joint collaboration of state Government, NDDB and DSC to serve as demonstration for officers/ farmers representatives of other irrigation projects in the state to establish genuine and strong farmers organisation, to demonstrate how . linkage could be established with Govt and other agencies for securing enhanced quality and quantity of agriculture produces and to get detailed instructions for implementing PIM in a manner consistent with the objective of PIM. The scheme presented to Government by DSC on 22/7/02 has been approved by GoG on 25/4/05. Development of PIM as per the approved scheam is yet in progress. However, the experience so far gained has shown the effectiveness of such PIM.

Some of DSC's policy leading proposals that are under consideration of Government of Gujarat are as under:

  • Allowing filling of tanks from canals for drinking and domestic purposes and providing bathing ghats on canal on demand from villages
  • Transferring canal network to farmers before rehabilitation
  • Irrigation Water entitlement -proportionate allocation of water
  • System and methods of O & M grant allocation at project level and circle level.
  • Deciding rebate for various levels of farmers organisations i.e. for District Committees, Branch Committee & Project Committees for major, medium & minor projects.
  • Deciding rates of farmers contribution in rehabilitation of Distributories, Branch Canals and main canals of Major, Medium and Minor projects.
  • Volumetric pricing of irrigation water supply in state & action plan for its implementation.
  • Reappraisal of command area of minor irrigation projects.
  • Enactment of "Gujarat Irrigation & Drainage Act" replacing the "Bombay Irrigation Act 1879"
  • Enactment of PIM Act for accelerating PIM in the state.

Status of DSC's Pending Policy leading proposals pertaining to other states

  • DSC has made the comparative study of legislative acts/ bills on PIM in different state in the region, indicating the differences in different state acts. The overall all observation have been sent to state of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Gujarat to consider adopting/dropping provisions that are conducive/nonconductive to the principles of empowerment (March 2005)
  • 2. DSC has presented the proposals to the Irrigation Department of State of Assam, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra & Haryana for taking policy leading decisions on the recommendations of 'National Workshop on Tail Enders' organised by DSC during 28-29th November 2003, briefing about emerging issues from tail enders studies & presentation/discussion on the workshop.(Dt7-2004). The follow up is also being done with the concerned state government for obtaining their decisions/ views on the recommendations