MINOR IRRIGATION SCHEME (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Govt Scheme)

News-CRUX-10     4th September 2023        

Context: The latest/sixth edition of the Minor Irrigation Census (MIC) finds that electricity is the dominant source (3/4th) of power to extract water, over diesel, windmills, and solar pumps.

Highlights of the Report

  • The country has reported a total of 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes.
  • Among these, 21.93 million (94.8%) are groundwater (GW) schemes, while 1.21 million (5.2%) are Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • Dug-wells hold the largest share among MI schemes, followed by shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells.
  • In the 6th MI census, there was an increase of approximately 1.42 million MI schemes compared to the previous census.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the leader in MI schemes in India, with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu following closely.
  • Maharashtra holds the top position among states for dug-wells, surface flow, and surface lift schemes.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab are the leading states for shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells, respectively.

Minor Irrigation Scheme

  • This scheme refers to an irrigation project that utilizes either surface water or groundwater to irrigate a cultivable command area (CCA) of a maximum of 2,000 hectares.
  • Minor irrigation schemes are divided into two primary categories and six sub-categories for classification purposes.
  • The Ground Water (GW) schemes comprise four sub-categories, including:

oDugwells, Shallow tube wells, Medium tube wells &Deep tube wells

  • The Surface Water (SW) schemes fall into two sub-categories, which are:

oSurface flow schemes & Surface lift schemes

  • Minor Irrigation Census: The necessity for conducting a census of Minor Irrigation arose due to the recognition that having a database of these schemes would fulfill the planning, development, and management requirements of these schemes, which play a significant role in agriculture.
  • The inaugural Census of Minor Irrigation schemes was carried out for the reference year 1986-87.

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