SKOCH Award Nominee
Category: Water – State Department
Sub-Category: subWater – State Department
Project: Mukshya Mantri Adibandha Tiari Yojana (MATY) construction of Check Dam
Start Date: 2010-04-05
Organisation: Minor Irrigation, Water Resources Department
Respondent: Dr Akshaya Kumar Das, Chief Engineer
Level: Premium Plus
Mukshya Mantri Adibandha Tiari Yojana (MATY) construction of Check Dam
The Water Resources Department works under the Government of Odisha to manage water supply and irrigation in the state
The uncertain climatic conditions in some parts of Odisha create the possibility of spoiling the crops every year. Due to lack of rainfall, there are extended dry spells in many districts of the state. The lack of reliable irrigation leaves the farmers helpless and they suffer from damages to their crops and decreased agricultural productivity. In situations like this major irrigation projects are not that fruitful because they take a long time to finish and even longer time for the ultimate benefits of irrigation to reach the farmers. The erratic nature of rainfall pushed the farmers to rely heavily on groundwater to meet their needs, The over-reliance on groundwater for irrigation depletes the groundwater table causing irreparable damage to the ecological balance of the area as well. However, solving these problems is not easy because they require carefully engineered solutions that target the issues in a specific manner. The lack of irrigation facilities was also causing the farmers to migrate from rural areas to urban areas in search of better job prospects.
There were also other problems that the project had to solve, one of which was the issue of land acquisition for the construction of reservoir facilities. This had to be done because the villages in these areas had no reliable source of drinking water after the monsoon period was over.
The construction of low height check dams was found to be the best solution for providing water for crop irrigation and several other purposes. The construction of check dams was also done to raise the groundwater table in water deficit areas. One of the major advantages of these check dams was that they are relatively inexpensive to construct and take lesser time to construct, this solves the problem of a long gestation period for large projects providing benefits to farmers in a fast and effective way. There was the implementation of other solutions as well which includes the construction of check dams around 14383 small water bodies. This has helped in solving the problem of water availability for domestic purposes in the area. The high energy bills because of using motors to pump water was another issue, By encouraging the use of solar-powered water pumps there is an attempt to reduce burgeoning energy bills. This solution was also implemented to ensure the availability of irrigation water during both Rabi and Kharif seasons and encourage crop diversification by reducing the dependence on the practice of single-crop agriculture.
Due to the implementation of the project, there has been overall agricultural development in a total land area of around 1,51,838 hectares. This became possible because of the introduction of irrigation facilities. The groundwater levels in the areas where this project was implemented have improved thereby solving the issue of prolonged dry spells in the region. The availability of constant and reliable irrigation had a multi-level effect. The implementation of this project has also provided avenues for farmers and people living in these areas to use water for domestic and other purposes. The reliable supply of water has also reduced dependence on a single crop paddy for all agricultural practices, doing so has also allowed the farmers to grow other crops for enhancing their income and it has also led to the ecological balance of these areas being restored. The check dams constructed under this project have been geotagged so that their resources can be tracked in real-time and be optimized for better results. This has led to better resource management and enhanced crop yield and output. The increased availability of irrigation has created job prospects for the local people in areas such as fishing and other agricultural activities as well. The growth in job prospects has been a boon for the local economy, This has increased the income level of farmers which has stopped them from migrating to urban areas. The use of solar-powered water pumps to lift water has reduced dependence on conventional forms of energy, This has reduced emissions and generated environmental benefits for the area and reduced the energy costs considerably
The irrigation operations were managed manually through a huge number of outlets placed throughout the ayacut. Therefore it was difficult to synchronize between pump operations and outlet operations during the night by going to the fields. The lack of irrigation facilities led to low agricultural productivity which left farmers unable to produce enough crops for their own sustenance. In such a situation farmers had no incentive left to practice farming. If there were no farmers left in the implementation area of the project there was a risk of the entire project being put in jeopardy. Another big challenge was the water use profile in the area Because the farmers were heavily dependent upon extraction of groundwater for all purposes the groundwater in the area was getting depleted leading to inefficient water use.
One of the biggest innovations in this project was the implementation of the SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition System) real-time monitoring mechanism. The deployment of this system led to the integration of various components for monitoring controls and synchronization processes. The system provided real-time control & remote access for monitoring and control of system parameters and generation of reports. The data acquired by the SCADA programme can be further utilized for analysis and improvement of the system, thereby reducing manual errors in system operation. The removal of manual interference in the project led to optimized water usage with minimum power consumption by using energy-efficient motors & thereby improving irrigation productivity. The synchronisation with a cloud-based control system for chak management ensured the smooth functioning of the entire water distribution network.
The implementation of this project has yielded excellent results by bringing accessible irrigation to areas where water supply was in deficit, this project can be implemented in other areas as well where the water supply is scant. There are demands from public representatives to replicate this project in their respective constituencies as well. The department of water resources has identified 1000 potential sites where this project can be implemented in the future
For more information, please contact:
Dr Akshaya Kumar Das, Chief Engineer at email@example.com
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