Water Resources Dept Recieves Top National Award In 78th SKOCH Summit For Mega Lift Irrigation Project: Odisha

by Priya Bharti

Bhubaneshwar: On Thursday, 6th December Water Resources Department, Government of Odisha bags the top Platinum SKOCH Award for the Mega Lift Irrigation Project at the 78th SKOCH Summit.

Instituted in 2003, SKOCH Award salutes people, projects, and institutions that go the extra mile to make India a better nation.

The award covers the finest of endeavors in digital, financial, and social inclusion. It envelops the most excellent of governance, comprehensive development, excellence in innovation and applications, change management, corporate leadership, corporate administration, citizen administrations conveyance, capacity building, empowerment, and other such softer issues that get regularly misplaced within the allure and the glitz of industry-sponsored or promoting focused jamboree. The Roll of Honour of the SKOCH Award over a long time could be a testimony to this.

SKOCH Award not only acknowledges exceptional achievers—organizations, and individuals—but also spurs inspirational guidance and motivational leadership.

The Mega Lift Irrigation program has been launched by the Government of Odisha during 2011-12 for providing irrigation to the farmers in the upland areas by lifting water from rivers, which could not be irrigated by normal means of flow irrigation.

As many as 208 mega lift schemes have been taken up covering a command area of 2,64,300 hectares and grouped into 17 clusters. The first phase has been taken up in 2012-13 and as of now, 136 schemes have been completed.

Projects having an irrigation command area of 500-2000 hectares are taken up under the scheme. In the 1st phase, there was a budget provision of 7495 crores and currently, it has been proposed for an expenditure of 10,760 crores in a phased manner.

This project has proved to be beneficial for around 7 lakh farmers living in the upland areas of Odisha. The outcomes of this project include providing reliable access to farmers living in upland areas. Because this project was able to deliver water more efficiently and quickly than other major irrigation projects, it enabled farmers to cultivate cash crops to increase their earnings.

By empowering the farmers to diversify into other crops this project has also made it possible to restore the ecological balance in these areas. This project has led to an increase in the income of farmers up to threefold.

The success of this project has shown that the upland areas in other states can be irrigated by uplifting water from different river basins. The effectiveness of this project has made it an apt candidate for replicability in other areas.

When it comes to widening the implementation scope of this project around 170 schemes have been identified which will be implemented in a 5-year period from 2021 to 2026.

Due to this expansion target has been set for the creation of additional irrigation potential of 2,63,801 Ha. in the upland areas. This will̥ benefit more farmers and provide them with a steady stream of irrigation water in their areas.

One more opportunity which arises from this project is that of educating farmers about the benefits of practicing sustainable agriculture and crop rotation. They can be made to understand that by shifting from the conventional staple like paddy to other nutritionally dense crops and cash crops, their income can be supplemented leading to overall increased economic and financial prosperity for them.

(Source: Agency)

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