The postulate that wherever there is water, poverty will dissipate by itself is aptly demonstrated by flagship projects of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) undertaken by WRI&DD which has envisaged to maximize Minor Irrigation Development by exploration of surface and ground water resources throughout the state for extending irrigation facilities to far flung areas where irrigation water is scarce or not available as well as providing assured irrigation to increase cropping intensity. The target area and objective of the RKVY is to address underlying constraints impeding agricultural productivity in remote and distant areas where no other irrigation facilities could be provided and it will facilitate critical gap bridging as achieved in pursuant to the targeted initiative of RKVY named "Bringing green revolution to the Eastern India" to cater to the small and marginal farmers for their overall socio-economic development taking into consideration the State's agro climatic conditions, natural resources and technology.
The state of West Bengal has diverse physiographist and hydro-geological conditions and is dominated by small land holders and landless labourers comprising several agro-ecological regions, make it conducive to grow a wide variety of crops comprising of fruits, vegetables etc. The average rainfall in the State is about 1750 mm out of which 1250 mm., occurs during June to September. Instead of being uniform, the precipitation pattern in the State is found to register wide regional variations. While the hilly Himalayan region receives the heaviest rainfall, ranging from about 2500 mm to 6000 mm. the Southern districts in the plains receive on an average 1125 mm to 1875 mm. Among the districts in the plains, Bankura, incidentally receives the lowest rainfall (1175 mm) and jalpaiguri the highest (3900 mm). But,West Bengal suffers from inadequate availability of irrigation water, mainly because of its undulating topography, high surface runoff, and lack of surface storage facilities.
To remedy the situation, WRI&DD has designed RKVY format to provide complete flexibility to the different Executive Engineers of the State to select, plan and execute projects as per their priorities and adopted Minor Irrigation Structures such as Tube wells and Water Harvesting tanks, Surface flow minor Irrigation schemes &Minor Irrigation Tanks (MIT) etc to create water resources for assured irrigation.
Non-availability of timely and adequate water for irrigation is a serious constraint in achieving higher productivity and stability of farming; assured irrigation is the need of the hour. Though the total rainfall in the State is satisfactory, its distribution over time and space is highly uneven. Therefore, rain water harvesting and water use efficiency are critical in arid areas for increasing production and productivity in conjunction with ground water supplement through tube wells where safe drawal is possible.
Department of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal decided to scale up minor irrigation related interventions under RKVY to boost ongoing efforts. These interventions were prioritized as RKVY flagship scheme with a total outlay of Rs.521.743, Rs.798.988, Rs.1300.00, Rs.1200.00 & Rs.2212.94 & Rs.2901.64 lakh during the years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011,2011-2012,2012-2013,2014-2015 respectively and Rs.1825.50 lakh has been assigned for the year 2015-16 for WRI&DD.
Among different types of irrigation schemes, minor, irrigation schemes based on exploration of surface water resources are the most popular schemes and have appropriately been adopted in large numbers in the State. Such schemes have advantages as these can show quicker utilization of created potential. Since it is the priority to extend maximum benefits to small and marginal farmers, it has been ensured that schemes are to be so located that 80% or more of the beneficiaries belong to small and marginal categories.
Substantial progress has been made in the creation of minor irrigation related assets by RKVY since its inception in the year 2007-08. Year wise breakup is detailed below.
|No.of M.I. Schemes Completed
|Irrigation Potential Created (Ha)
|Installation of Tubewell (Solar+Electric)
|Construction of Field Channel
|Minor Irrigation Tank
|No.of Schemes Completed
|Irrigation Potential Created (Ha)
|2020 - 21
|2021 - 22