Major Irrigation Projects Of India And Command Area Development


Major Irrigation Projects of India and Command Area Development

Command area development programme

The Centrally sponsored Command Area Development (CAD) Programme was launched in 1974-75 with the main objectives of improving the utilization of created irrigation potential and optimizing agriculture production and productivity from irrigated agriculture through a multi-disciplinary team under an Area Development Authority.  Initially, 60 major and medium irrigation projects were taken up under the CAD Programme, covering a Culturable Command Area (CCA) of about 15.00 million hectare. From 1974-75 till now 314 projects with a CCA of 28.95 Million ha have been included under the programme. After inclusion of new projects, deletion of completed projects and clubbing of some projects, there are now 136 projects under implementation. The programme was restructured and renamed as Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) Programme w.e.f. 1-4-2004. The scheme is now being implemented as a State sector scheme during the XI Five Year Plan (2008-09 to 2011-12).  

The National Water Policy, 2002 stresses on participatory approach in water resources management. It has been recognized that participation of beneficiaries in water resource management will help considerably in proper upkeep of irrigation system and optimal utilization of irrigation water. The participation of farmers in the management of irrigation would promote responsibility for operation and maintenance and collection of water charges from the areas under the jurisdiction of Water Users’ Association (WUAs). A one-time functional grant is provided to the registered WUAs under the programme. Minimum contribution of 10 per cent for beneficiaries has been made mandatory in the cost of construction of field channels, full package OFD works, reclamation of water logged areas and one time functional grant to WUAs.  

The evaluation made in the past has revealed that the CAD Programme made positive impact on various important indicators, like increase in the irrigated area, productivity and production, irrigation efficiency etc. Despite efforts for efficient irrigation water management, the problem of water logging has surfaced in many irrigated commands. Under the component on reclamation of water logged areas, 482 schemes of nine States, namely, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have been approved for reclamation of 63,566 ha. of water logged area. Out of this, an area of about 50,249 ha. has been reported to be reclaimed by these States up to March 2009.

Major irrigation projects

The Lower Bhavani Project  

The Lower Bhavani project was one of the British achievements in the Tamil country. For the preliminary works regarding the Lower Bhavani project that government appointed Sir. Charles Innes in 1906 as the Special Revenue Officer instructing him to report on the various aspects of the scheme. After extensive enquiry Sir. Charles Innes recommended the Lower Bhavani project as more remunerative. But the proposal for the scheme had to be dropped due to the outbreak of the First World War. Later Sir Priestly was appointed as the Special Revenue Officer. His recommendation was also favourable for the scheme4 . Then the Public Works Department proceeded with the preparation of plans and estimates for the scheme. The scheme was about to be sanctioned in 1938. But due to the outbreak of the Second Global War in 1939 the project had to be dropped again . After the Second World war in 1946, the Chief Engineer for irrigation Shri. A.R. Venkatachari prepared a plan. The government accepted the plan and ordered the execution of the project.

Farakka Project

Farakka Barrage is located in Murshidabad and Malda districts of West Bengal at about 300 km North of Kolkata. It is one of the largest barrage of its kind in the country having a Feeder Canal for a flow of 40000 cusec (1135 cumec) whose bed width is wider than that of Suez Canal. The Feeder Canal originates in upstream at Right Bank of Farakka Barrage and outfalls into the Bhagirathi, right channel of the river Ganga at 40 km downstream of Farakka Barrage.



Hirakund bandh

Hirakud is historical dam constructed across the River Mahanadi. Of all dams, Hirakud is the longest dam in India. Apart from being a prominent reservoir, this beautiful dam is also a revered tourist attraction in Odisha which is known for its eternal beauty and gorgeous surrounding. From its construction in 1957, this iconic masterpiece is making the country proud by being one of Asia’s biggest artificial lake. Moreover, the 21 km stretch of the dam is ideal for a drive. Besides, the stunning water along with the scenic setting of this place can blow your mind with just one glance. In the monsoon season, the beauty of the place rejoices and attracts a large number of tourists. There are also two observation tower – Gandhi Minar and Nehru Minar. From these towers, one can have a bird-eye view of the surrounding. Cattle Island, Vimleshwar Temple, Huma Temple, and Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the nearby tourist attractions from the dam where you won’t mind to extend your Hirakud Dam trip. Just to let you know, the place does not have any accommodation facilities, and hence, make sure you plan your outing accordingly. However, you can choose to stay at Sambalpur which is located at a distance of 21 km. Therefore, come and relish some time at Hirakud Dam.

Nagarjuna sagar irrigation project

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is one of the world’s largest and tallest Masonry dams built across the Krishna river at Nagarjuna Sagar which straddles the border between Nalgonda District, Telangana State, India and Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh State, India. Constructed between 1955 and 1967, the dam created a water reservoir with gross storage capacity of 11.472 billion cubic metres (405.1×109 cu ft). The dam is 590 feet (180 m) tall from its deepest foundation and 0.99 miles (1.6 km) long with 26 flood gates which are 42 feet (13 m) wide and 45 feet (14 m) tall.

Koyna Project

The Koyna Hydroelectric Project is the largest completed hydroelectric power plant in India. It is a complex project with four dams including the largest dam on the Koyna River, Maharashtra hence the name Koyna Hydroelectric Project. The project site is in Satara district near Patan.  The Deshmukhwadi village on which koyna dam is situated is migrated on hill station near to Koyna Dam.  The total capacity of the project is 1,960 MW. The project consists of four stages of power generation. All the generators are located in underground powerhouses excavated deep inside the mountains of the Western Ghats. A dam foot powerhouse also contributes to the electricity generation. Due to the project’s electricity generating potential the Koyna River is considered as the life line of Maharashtra.

Rihand Project

Rihand dam is a concrete gravity dam of length 934.21 m situated in Pipri in District Sonebhadra of U.P (India). The maximum height of the dam is 91.44 m and was constructed during period 1954-62.The dam comprises of 61 independent blocks and ground joints. The powerhouse is situated at the toe of the dam, with installed capacity of 6 units of 50 M.W. each . The water stored in Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar reservoir spreads over an area of 130 sq. km. (466 sq. km when full) and collects 10,608 m cu m of water. To let down the floods of the Rihand entering the reservoir, the dam is provided with a spill-way of 190 m. Power House-Downstream of the dam on the right side of spill-way has a power house with installed capacity of 300 mw (6 units of 50 mw each). The power is transmitted through 829 km of 132 km transmission line and 383 km of 66 km transmission line.

Bhakra nangal dam

The Bhakra-Nangal dam is one of the earliest river valley development schemes undertaken after the independence of India.  The project was signed by then Punjab Revenue Minister Sir Chhotu Ram in November 1944 with the king of Bilaspur and was finalised on January 8, 1945.  The construction of the multipurpose dam was initially started in 1984 by the then Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Sir Louis Dane.  But, it got delayed and it was resumed after independence under the chief Architect Rai Bahadur Kunwar Sen Gupta.  The dam was completed in 1963, and it was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.


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