Depletion of Ground Water and its conservation in Telangana- Mission Kakatiya

Depletion of Ground Water and its conservation in Telangana- Mission Kakatiya

The Telangana State, where groundwater availability has always been a challenge, had not seen a worse situation in terms of water levels as early as March 2016, during the past one decade. If Hyderabad is excluded, for which data is available only since 2005, the average groundwater level of the State in 2016 had plummeted to a 17-year low this year.

Over 140 mandals in the State are severely stressed, with water levels plunging to more than 20 metres below ground level (mbgl) for the past six or seven months, while 90 more are in critical condition, with water availability at 15 to 20 mbgl.

Mission Kakatiya

The objective of Mission Kakatiya is to enhance the development of agriculture based income for small and marginal farmers, by accelerating the development of minor irrigation infrastructure, strengthening community based irrigation management and adopting a comprehensive programme for restoration of tanks.

Tanks have been the life line of Telangana owing to the state’s geographical positioning. The people of the state are highly dependent on the tanks which are spread across all the 10 districts. The topography and rainfall pattern in Telangana have made tank irrigation an ideal type of irrigation by storing and regulating water flow for agricultural use.

Construction of tanks in Telangana has been an age old activity since pre Satavahana era. During the Kakatiya era, the construction of tanks was carried out with utmost technical expertise. Tanks such as Ramappa, Pakhala, Laknavaram, Ghanapuram, Bayyaram which were built by Kakatiyas resemble seas and they greatly helped agriculture and overall development and prosperity of the Kakatiya kingdom.

This vision and legacy of Kakatiyas were carried forward by Qutubshahis and Asafjahis who ruled this region for centuries. Hundreds of big and small tanks were built in Telangana region during their rule. Government desires to uphold the vision of Kakatiyas which envisages revival and restoration of Minor Irrigation Sources in Telangana State.

The Government has prioritized to take the restoration of minor irrigation tanks to restore them to store their original capacity and to effectively utilize 255 TMC of water allocated for Minor irrigation sector under Godavari & Krishna River basins.

The minimum ayacut that can be irrigated with the above allocated water is about 20 lakh acres. But as per the statistics the ayacut now being irrigated is only about 9 to 10 lakh acres under Minor Irrigation tanks. Thus, there is a gap ayacut of about 10 lakh acres.

The reasons for this gap ayacut under Minor Irrigation tanks are due to.

  • Loss of water storage capacity of tanks due to accumulation of silt in tank beds over a long period.
  • Due to dilapidated sluices, weirs and weak bunds
  • Due to defunct of feeder channels.
  • Due to dilapidated condition of Irrigation canals.

Identification of tanks

  • The District Minister/ local MLA/MLC/Public representatives will be approached to identify priority order for restoration of local tanks.
  • Mandal Assistant Executive Engineer will submit the list of tanks under his Jurisdiction (along with their ayacut) to concerned officials / public representatives.
  • Identify tanks for which repair works have already been taken up under programme like CBTMP, RRR & Normal State Plan, along with type of the repairs taken up.
  • Preference will be given to tanks which have greater ayacut and good source of water.
  • Tanks which have not been covered under any programme will be given priority.
  • The chain of tanks in Mandal will be identified in the 1stphase. Repairs/ Re-sectioning of Feeder channel and Silt removal in the tanks will be taken up as priority basis.
  • One urban tank at constituency Head Quarters will be taken up and developed as Mini Tank Bund.

People’s participation

It is programmed to publicize the importance of Chinna Neeti Vanarula Punaruddharana in the public through wide publicity to make them aware and participate in the massive programme designed by the Government. There is a necessity to motivate and encourage the end users for their participation explaining the Benefits of the tank to the public by various type of media. The respective departments are addressed accordingly to publicize the benefits of the programme and importance of people’s participation.

 

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