Telangana is a semi-arid region (intermediate condition of desert and humid climate) with a limited amount of rainfall. There are also a few rivers that feed irrigation in the state. For example, Medak district does not have a single river. So, farmers in Telangana depend mostly on ground water and tanks for irrigation.
As tank irrigation is neglected badly for years, farmers relied mostly on ground water through wells and bore-wells. Now ground water level has also decreased and farmers are facing problems because of drying wells and bore-wells.
In this situation, government of Telangana state has made a smart move to restore the tanks in Telangana with a program called ‘Mission Kakatiya – Mana Vuru Mana Cheruvu’.
What is Mission Kakatiya?
- Mission Kakatiya aims to restore more than 46,000 tanks in Telangana to enhance the productivity of agriculture in the region.
- The mission is expected to address the issue of falling ground water levels and drying up of bore wells.
- Mission Kakatiya is so named in remembrance and as a tribute to the Kakatiya rulers who developed a large number of irrigation tanks.
- Under this mission, government aims to restore the tanks, de-silt tank beds and clear encroachments of foreshore areas and feeder channels.
Action plan and budget for Mission Kakatiya
- The state government has decided to revive more than 46,000 tanks and lakes in Telangana. In the first phase government is planning to restore about 1700 tanks which cost Rs.707 crore and about 9,000 tanks will be restored every year.
- The government of Telangana is planning to get funds from various sources like
- Central Government under Triple R program of Rs.1000 crore [Triple R Program means National Project for Repair, Renovation & Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies directly linked to agriculture]
- World Bank for Rs.300 crore
- Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Rs2000 crore
- From first budget of Telangana 2014-2015, Rs.2000 crore will be spent on irrigation department to renovate the tanks and lakes for this year.
- Government expecting that it would cost around Rs.20,000 crore over the next five years for the mission
- In January 2015, Telangana government gave approval for comprehensive restoration of 279 minor irrigation tanks with estimate of Rs.123.07crore. The details are as follows:
|Sl.No||District||No. of tanks||Ayacut (acres)||Cost of estimates (lakhs)|
Benefits of Mission Kakatiya
- Major benefit of this Mission is for agriculture crops that would be in stable position and give more yield and better MSP (Minimum Support Price).
- It increases the water level strength of well and bore-wells that have turned dry.
- This mission will encourage farmers to use the silt from the tanks on their farm land. Nutrient-rich silt is expected to reduce reliance on fertilizers and thus saves money for the farmers.
- According to officials, using the silt can reduce fertilizer use for at least three crop cycles and results in increased crop yields.
Hopefully ‘Mission Kakatiya’, a smart choice of the government turns into good deed and help farmers of the state.