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Lift Irrigation Scheme

NAME OF THE TECHNIQUE : In some of the villages where water conservation structures were already done, Pani Panchayat carried out lift irrigation schemes to provide water to the fields at higher level. In this work, the distribution part is important.

NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE TECHNIQUE : Input of water is important from the agricultural point of view. Some times in some places water can't be provided to the fields as the level of the field is higher than that the source of water. In this case water is required to be lifted at a convenient higher spot from which it can be supplied to the fields under command. Pani Panchayat has completed about 52 lift irrigation schemes in Purandhar Taluka and around, irrigating about 1232 hect. in all. For lifting of water some energy is required for pump operation. It may be electric power or diesel. There are many methods of lift irrigation schemes depending upon the type of mechanism to lift the water. In old days water was lifted with the help of a person or a pair of bullocks which was mainly for an individual need. But now a days schemes for large areas and group of farmers are necessary.

Water can be lifted from wells, rivers, irrigation tanks etc. and conveyed through pipes made of cement, steel, PVC etc.

Lift irrigation schemes done by Pani Panchayat are with a principle that water is a natural common property. Every person in the village has a right to use it. In all schemes of Pani Panchayat water is shared equitably on the basis of 0.2 hect. per person and 1.0 hect. per family.

WHO WILL ADOPT THIS TECHNIQUE: The farmers whose fields are situated at higher level but have a source of water nearby can adopt this technique.

WHY THIS TECHNIQUE SHOULD BE ADOPTED: The fields which are at higher level and for which water by flow irrigation will not possible, have no other alternative but the lift irrigation scheme.

In different villages of Pani Panchayat local NGOs with the help of local people were engaged in implementation of lift irrigation schemes. People contributed their free labour and about 20% cost of the scheme. People are doing all these things only because they are realised that with a little input of water their agriculture can stabilise and they will get water whenever they require. Drinking water problem is also solved concurrently.

HOW TO ADOPT THE TECHNIQUE: Adoption of this technique is not quite simple. Planning, designing and execution are to be done through knowledgeable technical person. Participation of beneficiaries is quite necessary and if labour component is done by them, saving in cost to the extent of 20% is possible. The remaining amount can be had either through government as a subsidy or as a loan from the banks, repayable in 10 to 15 years.

RESULTS AFTER ADOPTION OF A TECHNIQUE: The results of the lift irrigation scheme are: 1. Increase in food production and thereby increase in income level as the land turns into irrigated land. 2. Removal of drought conditions and no problem of drinking water. 3. Stabilised agriculture as water is available whenever it is required.

PROBLEMS IN ADOPTION: It is not easy to convince the farmers to adopt a technique of lift irrigation scheme. The cost of the scheme is very high. For individual benefit a farmer will move heaven and earth. But for a group of farmers, his approach is not that friendly and cooperative.

SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM: It is the awareness that will solve the problem. An individual person can't bear the cost of the scheme. He has to co-operate with others for his benefits. Pani Panchayat could pursued the people in this manner. After completion of the completion of lift irrigation scheme, beneficiaries come together once in a month for taking certain decisions. This enhances the community spirit.

KEY FACTORS IN SUCCESS: Factors contributing success can be listed as below: 1. Participation of villagers in each and every stage of implementation of the programme. 2. Some financial assistance to the villagers from state government, advances from the bank. 3. This work is not labour oriented. But when the scheme is completed and brought in operation, it will provides gainful employment to all the persons coming under the preview of the scheme. 4. Whole work is done considering village as a unit, as some part of the village does not receive benefits of other soil and water conservation works.

Centre for Management of Local Resources
Pune, Maharashtra