MP push for micro irrigation to tide over drought, water paucity

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2015 18:30 IST
The agriculture department has earmarked Rs 200 crore for drip irrigation system. (Pic for representation )

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to encourage micro-irrigation system in the state to overcome challenges thrown up by drought-like situation and limited water resources.

At present one lakh hectare is irrigated using micro-irrigation system, which the government plans to increase to two lakh hectares within a year.

“We would now be focusing more on micro-irrigation system and the whole system would be made online to bring more transparency into the whole system of distribution of sprinkler and drip systems,” principal secretary agriculture Rajesh Rajora told HT.

Earlier, the horticulture department had adopted the system to track sprinkler and drip system online.

Earlier, the sprinkler systems were provided through gram panchayats and lots of malpractices were reported from the system where agriculture officials joined hands with sprinkler companies and provided low quality products.

Reports also suggested a huge scam in this scheme after which several officials of agriculture department were suspended in Dhar, Ratlam, Rewa and other districts.

Meanwhile, agriculture experts are of the opinion that using micro-irrigation methods, like using sprinkler and drip system saves water to a great extent.

“An estimated 30% of water is saved if sprinkler system is used, while up to 70% water could be saved if drip irrigation technique is used in the fields,” said Rajora.

The agriculture department has earmarked Rs 200 crore for drip irrigation system. The department has also planned to install rain-gauge instruments in all gram panchayats across the state to keep record of rainfall at every panchayat level.

This data would be used to keep track of change in weather pattern and rainfall at micro level.

CM directs officials to redress farmers’ power complaints

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed officials to redress power-related complaints of farmers at the earliest.

At a meeting with senior energy department officials, the chief minister asked them to chalk an action plan to replace burnt-out, damaged power transformers and convert temporary electricity connections for agriculture pumps to permanent ones, within a week.

Chouhan directed the chairman-cum-managing directors of the three power distribution companies in the state to “improve power distribution arrangements” so that people faced no difficulty, an official statement said.

Sources told HT that at least 7,500 transformers in the state were lying “idle” and more than 6 lakh agriculture pump connections were temporary.

Last week, the state government decided to replace damaged and unused transformers by charging only 10% of the power bill dues from farmers in place of 50% payment with two months advance payment, for converting temporary pump connections into permanent in place of the mandatory four months.

The CM directed officials to ensure that these decisions were strictly followed.

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