Karnataka plans to expand irrigation in river basin area

Written by Jaishankar Jayaramiah | Bangalore | Updated: May 31 2011, 02:14am hrs
Karnataka government has chalked out plans to provide irrigation facility for two lakh acre this year in all river basin areas in a bid to increase agricultural output in the state.

The plan is to divert the excess water from the rivers for irrigation. The irrigation facility for the new areas would be created by constructing small check dams, perculation ponds and extending the lengths of existing channels from the dams, the official sources said.

In the recent years, the state government is focusing on the projects related to water resources to increase the crop coverage area and improve the productivity.

In the past two and a half years, 14 irrigation projects have been completed and an area of 1.34 lakh acre have been brought under irrigation.

As a result, the crop output increased by 15% to 125 lakh tonne during 2010-11 from 109 lakh tonne achieved in the previous year.

Although the area under cultivation increased only by 3%, appreciable growth in production witnessed due to improvement in productivity during this period.

The government claimed that the yield of oilseeds and cotton, two major agri segments in the state, increased by 32% and 38% respectively.

According to statistics available with the state agriculture department, the modernisation of Bhadra, Tungabadhra and Kabini canals brought 1,03,784 acres of land under irrigation.

The government has taken up a project to improve the ground water level, by supplying of water to tanks in the districts of Bijapur, Tumkur, Davangere and Cauvery basin areas.

In the current year Budget, the government has declared 2011-20 as Irrigation decade while assuring that it would mobilise R50,000 crore to improve irrigation facilities in the state.

For the first time in the country, the state has prepared a proposal based on integrated water resource management in rivers and valleys, in consultation with the Asian Development Bank.

In order to undertake reforms in irrigation sector and develop a policy framework to attract private investment, an agreement has been signed with the World economic forums water resources Group 2030.