Apathy of district officials derails Krishi Sinchayi yojana

Apathy of district officials derails Krishi Sinchayi yojana

District irrigation plan prepared haphazardly; MPs, legislators care little

The district officials are alleged to have prepared district irrigation plan (DIP) under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) in a haphazard manner.

The DIP will have a holistic developmental perspective of the district outlining medium to long-term developmental plans integrating three components namely, water sources, distribution network and water use application of the district. So, the DIP drawn by the district level officials will have long term implications on irrigation of the district.

But the district officials, without convening a meeting or doing homework, have drawn the DIP. What's more disheartening is the fact that no legislator has questioned about the DIP formulated by the officials, so far.

Add to it, District Minister T B Jayachandra, who also holds the portfolio of Minor Irrigation, is expected to approve the DIP during the meeting convened at deputy commissioner's office on Friday. If the DIP gets a go-ahead during the proposed meeting to be chaired by Jayachandra, the district will be steered to crisis in future due to the DIP drawn without complying with the guidelines.

The DIP will then be sent to ZP for its approval before submitting the same to the Centre. The future water security or scarcity of the district is hinging on the DIP.

National water policy
According to irrigation experts, the states will lose the right on water resources once the Centre implements a national policy on water. Hence, the Centre has instructed the district administration of 540 districts in the country to draw DIP based on the demand and availability of water in each district, under the PMKSY.

Agriculture department was identified as nodal agency to prepare the DIP under PMKSY. The volume of water required for farming, industries, domestic consumption and for forest areas has to be determined at cluster levels of respective gram panchayats.

Also, the DIP should have details about water required to each farm through drip irrigation and the ways to draw water to the farm among others. The Mines and Geology department has collected information on rainfall the district has recorded in the last 30 years. It has also gathered details about the water bodies. The district officials should have taken all these aspects into account while preparing the DIP. But they didn't consider the data available on the rain, water bodies, number of farm holdings and their extent while drawing the DIP, sources said.

Irrigation experts say that the Centre would upload the DIP into Bhuvan software being maintained by Isro. Based on it, the Union government would allocate the quantum of water and the grants to the district. If the DIP prepared by district officials is incomplete and misleading, the district would suffer in future, they argue.

Panchayats ignored
The officials have prepared the DIP without eliciting the views and suggestions of the elected representatives and officials at the panchayat levels.

In fact, a grant of Rs 10 lakh was sanctioned to nodal agency Agriculture department on creating awareness about PMKSY at district, taluk and panchayat levels. The officials should have held meetings with irrigation experts, activists, members of the public, before drawing up a comprehensive plan.

A senior district-level officer, on the condition of anonymity, told Deccan Herald, "District Minister T B Jayachandra who talks authoritatively on irrigation projects at public forums, has not bothered to convene a meeting on PMKSY. Jayachandra has not even bothered to obtain the details about the DIP. So too, three MPs and legislators of the district, have not shown any interest on the issue."

Order remains on paper
­The order issued by the previous ZP CO B R Mamatha that grama sabha should be convened at each panchayats to prepared irrigation plans, under Namma Grama, Namma Yojane, has remained just on paper.

Three sub-committees, constituted under the chairmanship of Hemavathi chief engineer under Kaveri Neeravari  Nigama, Agriculture joint director and Lead Bank manager, did not convene the meeting till very recently when the deputy commissioner expressed his anguish over the style of functioning of the sub-committees. Meetings were convened in a hurry and nobody really knows what went in the meetings.

Sources said, the deputy commissioner and the ZP CEO have shown interest in preparing a comprehensive DIP but the apathy of the officials of various government agencies has derailed the process.
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