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Authors: Madhuresh, Chandra
Issue Date: 1991
Abstract: The increased human activities in the form of multifacet development in the country have resulted in greater use of water which provide the basic sustenance to human existance. The rapid growth in the demand for water all over the country has however, drawn attention of all concerned with water resources development and management. To meet the increasing demand, several surface and sub-surface methods/techniques have been developed from time to time main-ly from the point of view to investigate the availability of surface and ground water in an area and to quantitatively assess the groundwater potential, since surface water alone can not meet the growing demand of water for irrigating the crops. Presently, the gross sown area is about 173 m.ha. in the country out of which about 72.5 m. ha. has irrigation facility with the potential created so far. The groundwater accounts for about 38.8 m.ha. of the area. However, the present estimated ultimate potential is 118 m. ha., the groundwater component being 40 m.ha. However, the use of groundwater for irrigation on large scale is a modern phenomenon. To harness groundwater, indigenous as well as modern devices are in use . Indigenous counts mainly on moth, dhenkli , persian wheel, swing basket, counterpoise bucket, chain pump etc. while modern ones include, diesel and electric tubewells, besides unconventional type of devices run by renewable energy sources. Presently, about 7.6 million pumpsets are used in the country for lifting groundwater for irrigation. The operation of these pumps mainly depends upon diesel oil and electricity. Oil crisis and inadequate, erratic supply of electricity for villages are, however, a serious constraint, causing concern to the farmers. Al-though, uncertain electric supply has resulted in heavy dependance on diesel, yet the present Gulf War has further aggravated the deteriorating situation. In view of the increasing use of small scale lift technology by the farmers for supplementing the canal water (i.e.,surface water) an attempt was made to examine the impact of small scale lift irrigation on crop productivity, employment and its optimization. The specific objectives of the study were :(i) to study the technology adopted for different lifting devices and extent of utilization of groundwater , (ii) to examine the existing cropping pattern and crop-productivity, (iii) to analyse the impact of small scale lift technology on employment in the command , (iv) to work out per unit cost of water for different lifting devices in order to assess its efficiency, and (v) to formulate /prepare the optimum crop plans with constraints of water, land and crops. For achieving these objectives, the Left Salawa Command area was purposively selected which is located in Meerut District of Western Uttar Pradesh. Out of 29 villages in the command, a sample of 9 villages , i.e., 3 each from head, middle and tail reaches forming a cluster were selected. Further,a listing of households / farmers was done with the help of the Village Patawari - a revenue official. Finally a sample of 96 farmers was randomly drawn and the selected farmers were categorised as marginal, small, medium and large based on their operational holdings. The relevant data were collected by adopting Intensive Survey Method. However, the following analytical tools were used for analysing the collected data, annuity factor, per unit cost of water, crop water requirement and multi-objective optimization. The economic analysis of lifting devices revealed that per unit cost of water for electric tubewell of 15 litres per second and 10 litres per second were 10 paise and 11 paise respectively. Further, the costs of lifting per unit of groundwater through diesel tuirewell of 15 litres per second and 10 litres per second were found to be 15 paise and 14.5 paise respectively. However, taking into account the government subsidies the per unit costs further decreased. Land use pattern in the study area revealed that 79.46 percent area was put for use under agricultural purposes. But a balanced cropping pattern is an imperative necessity for its efficient use. The most prominent crop of the area in respect of the selected farmers was found to be sugarcane with 95.5 hectare (i.e., 37.68 % of the total cropped area) followed by wheat 74.50 hectare (i.e., 29.39 %). Jowar / Bajra assumed third place with 36.85 hecjare. (i.e.,14.54 %) . Further , an indepth analysis pertaining to production and economic returns in respect of crops grown by the farmers, the study revealed that the net returns, were found to be much higher in case of sugarcane accounting for more than Rs. 9000/- which was followed by wheat with a net return of more than Rs. 3000/- per hectare. The productivity -per hectare of crops showed an increase in case of paddy, wheat and sugarcane, cotton and potato. As far as the employment potential in the area was concerned canal and small scale lift irrigation generated substantial employment. Canal generated highest mandays labour of 52,201 followed by surface well 31, 615, tanks 22,078 private tubewells 16,609 and government tubewell 14, 261 mandays. The small scale lift irrigation, besides direct employment, also generated indirect employment in the area. Multi objective optimization program for which linear programming model was developed and run on the University of Roorkee Computer. The results revealed that there was hardly any scope to optimize which meant that~ the cropping system adopted by the farmers in the command was almost optimum'. To sum up, the study revealed that the small scale lift irrigation resulted an increase in productivity, cropping intensity, returns per hectare and generated employment. However, the improvement could partially be credited to small scale lift irrigation, and partly due to surface irrigation and other developmental programmes.
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