The number of dug wells in the country has declined from 9.2 million in 2006-07 to 8.7 million in 2013-14, says the fifth Minor Irrigation (MI) Census.
The number of dug wells in the country has declined from 9.2 million in 2006-07 to 8.7 million in 2013-14, says the fifth Minor Irrigation (MI) Census. A dug well is a shallow hole dug down into the water table. Open and ring wells are common dug wells, particularly found in rural areas of the country. According to the census report, the dug wells are owned dominantly (98.3 per cent) by private individuals. Of the total private owners, majority are individual farmers (78 per cent). The rest (22 per cent) are being owned by groups of farmers. The ownership of dug wells by groups of farmers is concentrated in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, it says. “Among the dug wells, ‘pucca’ dug wells have a majority share of 67 per cent, ‘kutcha’ dug wells 21 per cent, ‘dug-cum-bore’ wells 10 per cent and others 2 per cent. Dug-cum-bore wells have recorded an increase from 4 per cent in the fourth census to 10 per cent in the fifth and latest survey,” says the census.
Taking into account the social status of farmers owning dug wells, the report says, about 50 per cent of such wells belong to Other Backward Castes (OBCs), Scheduled Tribe (11 per cent), Scheduled Caste (9 per cent) and others (30 per cent). “In individually-owned dug wells, about 72 per cent are financed by a single source of finance, and the remaining 28 per cent have more than one source of finance. In the single source of finance, majority of schemes (75 per cent) were financed by one’s own saving in 2013-14,” says the report.
The fifth Minor Irrigation (MI) Census also found that 98 per cent of dug wells have single lifting devices, wherein 50 per cent have submersible pumps followed by centrifugal pumps (42 per cent) and manual/animal (3 per cent). Around 95 per cent of the dug wells have single source of energy, in which electricity dominates with 86 per cent followed by diesel (10 per cent) and manual/animal (3 per cent), it says.
The census also finds that around 73 per cent dug wells during this period (2013-14) have a depth in the range of 0-20 meters followed by 17 per cent in 20-40 meters range, 4 per cent in 40-60 meters range, 1 per cent in 60-70 meters range and 5 per cent in more than 70 meters range.
Among the “in use” dug wells, around 71 per cent are functioning without any constraint. The remaining 29 per cent dug wells are unable to utilise their maximum potential, mainly due to less discharge of water and non-availability of adequate power, the report adds.