Necessity of PIM
The old dictum is that necessity is the mother of invention. This may be judged in respect of PIM also with the following considerations:
a) Need of increase in agricultural production: The human as well as bovine population has been increasing all over the world and more so in India. As such the need of food, fiber, fuel, fodder etc. has also been increasing with fast rate. It is, hence, imperative to increase the agricultural production to keep pace with the requirement. Irrigation being lifeline of agriculture, its development and meticulous management is the necessity of the day. All over the world and so in India, it is known that easy locations to tap surface water have almost exhausted. Increasing the existing reservoirs capacity and taking up of new projects is causing serious financial and social problems. So far as ground water development is concerned, it has its own limitations and the most important being over exploitation of this resource at many places particularly in many parts of India. Moreover financing is another constraint. Hence proper management of already created water resources development structures is extremely essential at this juncture, in order to strike the balance between need and the agricultural production. Since farmers are the real stakeholders, they have to come forward through their associations to look after their interest so that they get water from the system according to the predetermined time and space for planning their crops.
b)Problem of fiscal availability: There is severe budgetary competition at the government level under different sectors. The ratio of financial outlay for the irrigation sector to the total outlay is coming down year after year. Moreover there are many uncompleted irrigation projects, where work is going on and there is demand of meeting the regional balance to provide irrigation facility almost all over. Under such circumstances, investment of more money by the Government on operation and maintenance of the old system appears difficult. Thus, farmers have to take up this responsibility
themselves in order to avoid over burdening of the Government exchequer and to become selfdependent.
c) O&M cost and recovery of irrigation charges: This aspect has already been discussed elsewhere which indicates that O&M cost is much higher than the recoverable irrigation charges as per present rate. Even these low rates are not being recovered in full.
Often the cost of recovery of water charges by Government is more than the amount recovered. This is causing severe budget constraints to Government and consequently O&M could not be properly carried out resulting in system deficiency and unreliability of irrigation water to farmers. The Water
Users‘ Associations could play this role in a bet
d)Other compulsions: Besides above aspects, there are other compulsions like non availability of
water when it is needed, taking immediate problems like leakages, adopting flexibility in water distribution and taking many more initiatives by sustainable proposition, PIM appears extremely necessary and worthwhile.
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