Irrigation

 

 

Agriculture is the main stay of the economy of Tripura. Irrigation is an important input for enhancing the productivity of the agricultural sector. To meet up growing demand of the increased population in the state, the need of irrigation has became obvious. Irrigation sector accordingly got priority in development during ninth plan onwards. The area covered under irrigation till 1972 was only 1956 hectare, which rose to 40383 hectare at the end of March, 1998. The pace of development was accelerated since then and by now coverage has been raised upto 1,13,598 hectare the end of March, 2015. It is estimated that the state has an area under paddy and horticultural crops for 1,78,000 hectare. This quantum of land is immediately visualized for irrigation need. Tripura state in the North Eastern Region of India has a total land area of 10,492 sq.km. The climate condition and the soft soil everywhere in the state is favorable for cultivation of wide range of crops especially the horticultural crops. Amid the undulating terrain, the land under cultivation in the state as per current survey conducted by the State Agriculture Department of the state is 2,55,241 hectare, which is 24.33 percent of the State's total area. The majority of the inhabitants and their agricultural activities are confined to the interspersed plain lands. Although 60 percent of the State population is dependent on it, the primary sector contributes about 25 percent of the State's GSDP. The average land holding in the state is 0.97 hectare and farmers are dominantly small and marginal.

 

One of the principal objectives of the Government of Tripura is to extend assured irrigation to agricultural land. Apart from ensuring coverage of more cultivable land under assured irrigation, the aim is to increase cropping intensity, thereby optimizing the utilization of the limited land resource for improvement of the socio-economic condition of rural masses.

 

There is no major irrigation project in Tripura. The Gomati, Khowai and Manu are the three medium irrigation projects in the State. The work of the Khowai Medium irrigation project is completed except some residual works. The progress has been made in Gomati and Manu medium irrigation projects inspite of problems of land for construction. The major source of irrigation is Minor irrigation projects like lift irrigation, deep tube wells, diversion schemes, shallow tube wells, 5 HP pumps, water harvesting structures, tanks etc.

 

The irrigation programmes of the State is being jointly implemented by the Public Works Department (Water Resources), Rural Development Department (RDD), Agriculture Department, Forest Department and the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). Nearly all the minor irrigation projects have been handed over to Gaon Panchayats/ Panchayat Development Committees for better operations, maintenance and upkeepment.

 

The Government is implementing an action plan to expand irrigation coverage up to 1,40,383 hectare in near future.

 

Status of irrigation over the plan period till 2015-16: