07 Jun Participatory Irrigation Management
GS PAPER-3, ECONOMY
SOURCE- THE HINDU
The term participatory irrigation management (PIM) refers to the participation of irrigation users, i.e., farmers, in the management of irrigation systems. It is done by creating local water regulatory bodies like Pani Panchayat or Water Users’ Associations (WUAs).
Objectives of PIM
- Creating a sense of ownership of water resources and the irrigation system among the users, so as to promote the economy in water use and preservation of the system.
- Improving service deliveries through better operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems.
- Achieving optimum utilization of available resources, precisely as per crop needs.
- Increasing production per unit of water, where water is scarce and to increase production per unit of land where water is adequate.
Constraints in Implementation of PIM
Lack of legal backup and policy changes: In many States, there is no or very little legal back up and clear-cut policy decisions at the Government level to take up PIM.
System deficiency: There are many problems like deterioration of old control and measuring structure, leakages and seepage at various places, erosion of banks and beds. These problems hinder farmers from taking over irrigation management.
Uncertainty of Water Availability: Farmers are reluctant to take on the responsibility for managing the system unless deliveries of water are made reliable, flexible, practical and responsive to need.
Fear of financial viability: Farmers are apprehensive to take irrigation management, due to the absence of surety of finance, it would be difficult for them to fulfil the requirement of funds for operation and maintenance.
Demographic Diversity: Due to variation in economic, ethnic, education levels etc. diversity of farmers, PIM is taking much time in India.
Rationalization of Water Rates: There is a dire need for rationalization of water rates so as to meet the expenditure on account of Maintenance of the irrigation system.
Women’s Role in PIM: Considering the importance of women in terms of their numerical strength and the significant contribution they make to the agriculture labor force, there is a need for women to play an important role in the PIM.
Need For A Legal Framework: A model act can be framed by the parliament, which will ensure the systemic involvement of beneficiaries in the management of the irrigation system at various levels.