Irrigation development in Kerala is mainly centered on the development of surface water resources mainly on the development of major and medium irrigation projects. In each Plan, priority in allocation was given for the development of major and medium irrigation projects. Out of a cumulative expenditure of Rs. 4043.02 crores, Rs. 2876.11 crores (71%) is invested for major & medium irrigation. About 60 to 70 percent of the investment in each plan was made for this purpose. Rice is the major crop benefited through irrigation infrastructure. Even in the case of this crop, the incremental yield, which the irrigation support could bring, is not significant. With the fast changes taking place in the farm front of Kerala with notable reduction in the area under rice cultivation, even the distribution systems already developed for gravity irrigation to service rice cultivation now require realignment.
During the Tenth Plan period an outlay of Rs. 930 crore was set apart for the Irrigation sector which includes Rs. 600 crores for Major and Medium Irrigation, Rs. 205 crores for Minor Irrigation and Rs. 50 crores for Flood Control and Anti-sea Erosion works. This is against the outlay of Rs. 1028.00 crores and an expenditure of Rs. 1078.73 crores during the Ninth Plan period. In the allocation of resources during Tenth Plan a small reduction was noted in the overall outlay of the sector. The percentage share of Plan outlay during Tenth Plan was 3.88% against that of 6.38% in the Ninth Plan. The reduction was mainly due to the transfer of Minor irrigation schemes to the local bodies and reduction in number of major projects.
During the Plan period (2002-07) against the Plan outlay of Rs. 930 crores, an amount of Rs. 781.39 crores was budgeted and the expenditure came to Rs. 876.56 crores. A major portion (73%) of the outlay on Water Resource Sector was budgeted for Major and Medium Irrigation Sector and the expenditure recorded for Major & Medium for the Tenth Plan was 78% of the total expenditure. Over and above the State plan outlay a substantial amount has been invested for Minor irrigation and Flood Management from the schemes of Local Self Governments.
In Kerala, Kallada and Muvattupuzha Projects were assisted under the AIBP and the assistance received so far is Rs. 32.51 crores and Rs.206.70 crores respectively. The assistance was availed based on individual selected components of public works identified under each project. The Karappuzha Irrigation project has been approved for assistance is 2006-07.
The target set for the realisation of additional irrigation potential during Tenth Plan was 1.40 lakh hectares (gross) comprising of 0.90 lakh hectares under major irrigation and 0.50 lakh hectares under minor irrigation. The actual achievement aggregates to 1.08 lakh hectares. Overall performance of the Major and Medium Irrigation sector was not encouraging during the Tenth Plan period. Additional irrigation facility could be created only in Muvattupuzha Irrigation Project.
Physical Targets and Achievements 2007-08 (000 ha)
Review of Major Projects
In Karapuzha project 99.71% of the Main canal – RBC and 99.1% of the Main canal- LBC have completed. In Banasurasagar project, construction of main canal is completed and construction of branch canals are in progress. In Muvattupuzha Project, major portion of the work has been completed. In Idamalayar project, out of the total of 32.28 Km of the main canal, work related to 9.60 Km of main canal and 9.77 km of low level canal have been completed and the remaining works are arranged. Kallada project was completed. However, the reported irrigation potential realized was relatively low as compared to the potential created.
The work of the Thrithala Bridge-cum-regulator is completed. The Chamravattam RCB has been modified and approved for implemental under RIDF of NABARD. The overall performance of the major and medium irrigation sector during 2006-07 was not encouraging. The cumulative area brought under irrigation through major and medium irrigation projects is 2.83 lakh hectares.
Project-wise Details of Ongoing Projects 2006-2007
Gross Area Irrigated (Crop-wise) in ha.
Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics
Government of Kerala had proposed schemes worth Rs. 1873 crores comprising of major irrigation Rs. 1453 crores for creating an additional area of 0.80 lakh ha, and minor irrigation costing Rs. 134 crores for bringing an additional area of 0.31 lakh hectare and modernisation and restoration costing Rs. 286.23 crores to create an additional area of 1.84 lakh hectares.
Among the crops, coconut tops the major crop supported by irrigation. It accounted for about 36 per cent followed by Paddy (35%) Banana (8.34%) Arecanut (7.1%) and Vegetables (5%) . Irrigation could be provided to 59% of the area under Paddy 17 per cent of the total area under coconut, 35 per cent of the area under arecanut and 54 per cent of the area under banana. Compared to last year the area irrigated under crops like Sugarcane, betel leaves, etc. have been decreased.
Irrigation is one of the six components for development of rural infrastructure under Bharat Nirman. Under irrigation, it is proposed to create additional 10 million hectares of irrigation capacity by 2009 through major and medium irrigation projects (4.2 Mha), minor irrigation (2.8 Mha), enhancing utilisation of completed projects (2.0 Mha) and ground water development (1.Mha).
Government of India had launched a new scheme Bharat Nirman Yojana to create additional irrigation facilities in the next four years. Under this programme, action is proposed for the areas of irrigation, roads, rural housing, rural water supply, rural electrification and rural communication connectivity.
Local Water Resources
In order to promote the development of local water resources, particularly tank irrigation, Government of India has introduced a scheme 'restoration of water bodies' (renovation of tanks/ponds) with 75% central assistance under Command Area Development Programme. Restoration of Tanks in Palakkad and Pathanamthitta were forwarded to GOI and sanction has been accorded for taking up the work for the renovation of Tanks in both the districts. An amount of Rs. 1.37 crores ( 10 tanks) was sanctioned for Palakkad district and an amount of Rs. 1.38 crores was sanctioned to Pathanamthitta District (13 lakhs) and the works are in progress.
Kerala has a wide network of rivers and rivulets and springs spread over the entire cropped area. Minor irrigation sector received considerable attention from Seventh Plan onwards and got a considerable boost during the Ninth Plan period consequent to the enhanced flow of funds from the grant in aid of the local bodies as well as on account of special support received from the external agencies like European Economic Community, Dutch Government and assistance under RIDF of NABARD. With the introduction of decentralised planning, all minor irrigation works (having cultivable command area up to 2000 ha.) were vested with the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs). But by the enactment of the new Act ‘Kerala Irrigation and Water Management Act 2003' the definition of minor irrigation has been changed and works benefiting an area less than 15 ha. only come under the category of minor irrigation and are vested with PRIs. All other works having cultivable command area greater than 15 ha. have been taken over by the Water Resources Department as medium irrigation. The major works implemented under surface water are minor irrigation Class – I, II and Lift irrigation schemes. Construction of check dams, Vented cross bars, weirs, tanks etc are the various works executed under minor irrigation Class-I & II.
amount of Rs. 119.50 crores have been expended for implementing minor
irrigation schemes during the Tenth Plan period. During
the year under review (2006-07) the Department has invested Rs.12.65 crores
for implementing surface water minor irrigation schemes. The additional
area reported to be brought under irrigation during 2006-07 was 3182.05
The Kerala Ground Water (Control and Regulation) Act, 2002 came into effect in December 2003 and the Kerala Ground Water Authority was constituted a month later. As per Section 6(1) of the Act, the Authority can recommend to the Government to notify any area within the State for the purpose of regulating groundwater extraction in that area in public interest. The notification is to be gazetted, published in two daily newspapers and exhibited on the notice board of the office of the Gram Panchayat or Municipality. If at a later date the availability of ground water improves, the Authority can recommend the cancellation of the notification. Also, every owner of existing wells in a notified area should apply to the Authority in a prescribed form for registering the well. Dug wells used for domestic purpose are exempted. After site inspection, the Authority can grant or refuse registration.
A permit from the Authority will be required for constructing a new well or deepening or enlarging an existing well (except dugwell used for domestic purposes). Permit is also required for energising an existing unenergised well if the horsepower exceeds 1.5 HP in the case of dug wells and 3 HP in the case of borewells. The request is processed after site inspection.
Drinking Water Supply
In Kerala 84.21 percent urban and 65 percent rural population have been covered by Water Supply Schemes as on 1-4-07. The overall water supply coverage is 69.99 percent as against 68.02 percent as on 1-4-06. The rural urban coverage as on 1-4-06 was 62.74 percent and 83.07 percent respectively. During 2006-07, 97 water supply schemes taken up under various categories were commissioned. A total population of 6.25 lakhs have been benefited by these schemes. Out of this additional population covered are 5.12 lakh and the remaining are status level improvement. Out of the additional population covered with protected water supply, 50202(9.8%) are scheduled caste and 5840(1.14%) are scheduled tribe population.
Plan and Non Plan Expenditure of Kerala Water Authority
Total expenditure of KWA during 2006-07 was Rs. 736.32 crore. Out of this Rs.388.90 crore (52.8%) was under plan and Rs.347.42 crore (47.2%) under non-plan. Under non-plan 37 percent is utilised for salary and establishment, 31 percent for power, 11 percent for operation and maintenance, 12 percent for interest on loans and 7 percent for repayment of loans.
Ongoing Water Supply Schemes
Various schemes are being implemented by Kerala Water Authority with loan assistance from financial agencies within and outside the country in addition to state funded and centrally sponsored schemes. Altogether 203 water supply schemes consisting of 160 rural and 43 urban schemes are under execution.
Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programm (ARWSP)
The works of 82 schemes sanctioned under ARWSP are in progress-74 schemes with central fund and 8 schemes which have exceeded their estimated cost with state fund. Centrally Sponsored Schemes are implemented with 100% assistance from Govt. of India.
Technology Mission Schemes
Govt. of India provides assistance under Technology Mission for implementing schemes in Water quality affected areas. Up to 15% of the ARWSP funds are to be earmarked for new projects designed to address water quality issues. Fourteen schemes have been sanctioned so far and of this 3 schemes are with funding pattern of 50:50 and the remaining are with 75:25 between Govt. of India and Govt. of Kerala. Out of 14 schemes one scheme has been commissioned and works of the remaining are in progress.
Water Supply Schemes to Rural Schools
All the rural schools and Anganwadies having no drinking water facilities are to be provided with such facilities. The expenditure for this will be shared by the central and state government on 50:50 basis. 925 proposals had been sanctioned by SLSC held on 7/12/05. Out of this 589 schemes had been completed and works of the remaining are targeted to be completed by March 2008. Proposals for water supply schemes to 479 schools/ Anganwadis have been sanctioned during 2007.
Rain Water Harvesting
The implementation of Rain Water Harvesting Schemes- Varsha is by involving community participation as 10% of the cost of the unit is to be borne by the beneficiaries. 2813 units of 'Varsha' proposals had been sanctioned by the SLSC held on 7-12-05. Out of these 1622 units have been completed and works of the remaining are nearing completion. Proposals for 66 units amounting to Rs. 190.18 lakhs has been sanctioned during 7/2007.
Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme
The Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme (AUWSP) for Census Towns having population below 20,000 is sponsored by Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India. The main objective is to provide safe and adequate water supply facilities to the population of the Census Towns in the country within a fixed time. The Scheme will be funded on 50% grant basis by the central government. The balance 50% will have to be provided by the State government including 5% beneficiary/local body contribution. So-far 9 schemes were sanctioned under this programme and out of which one scheme has been completed. Govt. of India has announced that no new schemes will be sanctioned under AUWSP and a new programme namely UIDSSMT is launched for providing water supply and sanitation facilities for small and medium towns.
Govt. of India launched community based, participatory demand driven Water Supply viz, Swajaldhara for rural sector in the financial year 2002-03 by giving 90% of the project cost as government aid and remaining 10% as beneficiary contribution. Out of 486 schemes taken up under Swajaldhara 229 schemes had been completed.
LIC/HUDCO/Bank Assisted Schemes
Rural and Urban Water Supply Schemes were being implemented with LIC loan assistance since 1967-68. Rs. 319.57 crores were received from LIC for financing water supply sector. 303 schemes were completed with LIC assistance up to 31/3/07. LIC assistance is not received from 2003-04 onwards and the progress of implementation of the schemes are severely affected due to this. As on 1-4-07 there are 52 rural water supply schemes and 28 urban water supply schemes under different stages of implementation under this category.
NABARD Assisted Schemes
There are 8 rural water supply schemes sanctioned with loan assistance under RIDF IX of NABARD. Total loan amount originally sanctioned was Rs. 3324.06 lakhs. Considering the cost escalation due to the revision of the schedule of rates the project cost has been revised to Rs. 6218.15 lakhs and has sanctioned a loan of Rs. 4444.61 lakhs. Out of the 8 schemes, 3 schemes are expected to be completed during 2007-08 and the remaining in 2008-09.
ADB Assisted Schemes
Due to the devastating effects of Tsunami disaster, ADB has provided assistance for retroactive works and long term works. Retroactive works include rehabilitation of piplelines, repairing and fixing of street fountains, repair of pump sets, repair and drilling of tube wells, construction of pump houses, OH tanks etc. All the retroactive works have been completed.
JBIC Assisted Kerala Water Supply Project
A Package of five water supply schemes was approved for loan assistance by the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund (OECF) of Japan (now the Japan Bank for International Co-operation) in 1996. The largest ever water supply project in the state when completed will ensure drinking water to a population of about 43 lakh in the benefited area spread over five districts. The total estimated cost of the project was Rs. 1787.45 crore.
Transfer of KWA Schemes to Local Bodies
As a step towards the decentralisation process, in 1998 it was decided by the Govt. that KWA should hand over 1050 Rural Water Supply Schemes which fall within the boundary of one Panchayat, having independent source, to the Local Bodies. The Panchayats will be responsible for operation, maintenance, quality control, augmentation and improvement of the schemes thus undertaken and meet the expenditure by collecting tax/tariff. So far 371 KWA schemes including 172 schemes other than 1050 schemes, were handed over to local bodies.
Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project
The World Bank loan assisted Kerala Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Project (Jalanidhi) was conceived in mid 1999. Project Implementation Plan was prepared and project appraised in mid 2000.The agreement with the World Bank was signed on 4th January 2001.The government has also created an autonomous institution ‘Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency’ (KRWSA) to implement this project. The project is expected to cover three lakh households, benefiting a population of over 15 lakh in the selected Grama Panchayaths.
Selection of Panchayaths, Planning and Implementation of Schemes
Panchayats are selected for the project based on the need for water and sanitation, the extent of poverty and proven efficiency in managing Plan Funds. Panchayats are covered in batches of approximately 15-20 Panchayats per batch and each scheme has a project cycle of 27 months, divided into four phases: 3 months for Pre-Planning Phase, 12 months for Planning Phases, 8 months for Implementation Phase and 4 months for Post-Implementation Phase.