Water conservation using geo-textile materials soon: CADA

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 27th Feb: In order to solve the problem of water scarcity usually faced by farmers after the end of rainy season, Command Area Development Authority (CADA), Manipur has taken up steps to conserve water using geo-textile materials.

The project will be taken up at each village in all nine (formerly) districts of the state on trial basis, stated additional chief engineer (CADA) Suresh Singh Ningombam.

Addressing media persons as part of the series of press conference with head of departments organised by DIPR at its Moirangkhom office Tuesday, Suresh said the state faces flood during rainy season every year which damages paddy and other standing crops. After the end of rainy season, farmers usually face problem of water scarcity and hence could not produce additional food or cash crops. In order to solve this problem at least to some extent, CADA Manipur has dug/renovated one each pond in the earlier nine districts to conserve water using geo-textile materials, he said, adding that the project is being taken up under the Ministry of Textiles.

While disclosing that the model is borrowed from Gujarat state, Suresh said the digging/renovation process of ponds in these districts has been almost completed.

One each pond at Leishangthem in Thoubal, Khumbi in Chandel, Kasailui in Ukhrul, Andro in Imphal East, Kadangband in Imphal West, Moirang in Bishnupur, Tamei in Tamenglong, Bungte Chiru in Senapati and one pond in Churachandpur districts have been developed. Though the project was hampered last year due to excessive rainfall, most of the ground works have been completed and department is targeting to commission the project by the end of March next, he added.

Though Central government created CADA in the year 1976-77, the state unit was established in 1982-83 and the authority is now a full-fledged department with involvement of many agriculturists, agronomists, rural scientists, soil scientists and agriculture engineers.

The main objective of the department is to integrate all the activities critical for increasing agricultural products with better utilization of created irrigation potential and the main role of the department is to provide water to farmers through irrigation.

In order to achieve its objective, the department conducts survey and investigation, construction of field channel, mechanised land levelling, micro irrigation, construction of field drain, demonstration training, managerial subsidy, connection of system deficiency and monitoring and evaluation, he added.

The department has so far taken up five water management programmes in the state which include cluster of the 213 MI schemes in Imphal East, Imphal West and Churachandpur districts with a Culturable Command Area (CCA) of the project in 9643 hectares, out of which 1448 hectares had already been achieved. Another programme is 215 MI schemes under Thoubal, Ukhrul and Chandel districts and CCA of the project is 9043 hectares, out of which 1118 has been achieved and 169 MI schemes in Bishnupur, Tamenglong and Senapati districts with CCA of 8889 hectares, out of which 1087 had already achieved. The CCA for Thoubal Multipurpose project (Phase III) is 16536 hectares and Dolaithabi Barrage project is 5500 hectares, he said, adding both the programmes will be implemented from the current financial year.

In the Command Areas of the project, Water Users’ Association has been formed by involving the farmers with the objective of taking over the irrigation system.

The Additional CE said that a new scheme from the Ministry of Textile, has also been taken up in order to promote use of Geotextile Materials for lining up Water Reservoirs or ponds, which would preserved water and irrigate the surrounding fields by proving water pumps and other irrigation facilities during dry seasons.

A sum of Rs 278.43 lakh has been earmarked for construction of another six water reservoirs/ponds while Lining of Conveyance System are also being taken up, he added.

Responding to query by media persons, Suresh informed that the department coordinates with water resource department and other link departments while executing all its programmes.

The press conference was also attended by Division-I executive engineer P Ramu, Division-II executive engineer O Tiken and executive engineer Lokendro Singh.

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