GOI has implemented different projects in irrigation sector including minor irrigation based on demands driven by nature and other causes. Some are discussed below from recent reports.

7.1 National Projects

The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 7th February 2008 approved proposal of the Ministry of Water Resources on implementation of National Projects with central assistance of 90% of the cost of the project. A new project fulfilling the following criteria will be eligible for consideration for inclusion in the scheme of National Project with the approval of the Union Cabinet:

(i) International projects where usage of water in India is required by a treaty or where planning and early completion of the project is necessary in the interest of the country.

(ii) Inter-state projects which are dragging on due to non-resolution of inter-state issues relating to sharing of costs, rehabilitation, aspects of power production, etc. including river inter-linking projects.

 (iii) Intra-state projects with additional potential of more than 2 lakh ha and with no dispute regarding sharing of water and where hydrology is established.

The Central Government has declared 14 water resource projects as National Projects. A list is given in Table- 7.1

Table 7.1 National projects of India 2009


Name of the Project


Envisage Benefits (Irrigation in hectare(ha), Power generation in Megawatt(MW)and storage in Million acre ft.(MAF)


Noa Dehang Dam




1) Irrigation Potential of 8000 ha

2) Hydel Power generation of 75 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.26 MAF


Upper Siang Project



1) Hydel Power generation of 9500 MW

2) Storage capacity of 17.50 MAF

3) Flood moderation


Kulsi Dam Project


1) Irrigation Potential of 23,900 ha

2) Hydel Power generation of 29 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.28 MAF


Renuka Dam Project



1) Drinking Water

2) Hydel Power generation of 40 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.44 MAF


Gyspa Project



1) Irrigation Potential of 0.50 lakh ha

2) Hydel Power generation of 240 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.6 MAF


Kishau Project


Pradesh /


1) Irrigation Potential of 0.97 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 600 MW

3) Storage capacity of 1.04 MAF


Bursar Project

Jammu &


1) Indirect Irrigation Potential of 1.00lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 1230 MW

3) Storage capacity of 1 MAF


Ujh Multipurpose


Jammu &


1) Irrigation Potential of 0.32 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 280 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.66 MAF


Ken Betwa Project



1) Irrigation Potential of 6.46 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 72 MW

3) Storage capacity of 2.25 MAF


Gosikhurd Project


1) Irrigation Potential of 2.50 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 3 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.93 MAF


Shahpur Kandi



1) Irrigation Potential of 3.80 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 300 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.016 MAF


Second Ravi Beas link


1) Harness Water flowing across border

of about 3 MAF


Lakhvar Vyasi



1) Irrigation Potential of 0.49 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 420 MW

3) Storage capacity of 0.325 MAF


Teesta Barrage


West Bengal

1) Irrigation Potential of 9.23 lakh

2) Hydel Power generation of 1000 MW

3) Barrage


7.2 Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies

The Government of India sanctioned a Pilot Scheme for “National Project for Repair, Renovation & Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies directly linked to Agriculture” in January, 2005 with an estimated cost of Rs.300.00 crore to be shared by Centre and State in the ratio of 3:1 and proposed to be implemented during the X Plan period. The objectives of the Scheme were to restore and augment storage capacities of water bodies, and also to recover and extend their lost irrigation potential. The Scheme has been approved for 26 district projects in 15 States, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Gujarat, Kerala and Maharashtra at an estimated cost of Rs.299.92 crore and Central Share of Rs.197.32 crore has been released to the states upto December 2009. These projects cover 1098 water bodies with total original culturable command area of 1.72 lakh hectares. The physical work for restoration has been completed in 1033 water bodies in 15 states upto 31st December 2009. The spillover activities are being continued in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra during the current financial year i.e. 2009-10 also.

Government of India approved two schemes on repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies (i) one with external assistance with Central Government outlay of Rs. 1500 crore and (ii) the other with domestic support with Central Government outlay of Rs. 1250 crore for implementation during XI Plan Period. Under the scheme covered by external assistance, the GoI provides assistance to the extent of 25% and borrows necessary funds as loan from World Bank, 75% State share is to be borrowed from the World Bank by concerned States. Under the scheme with domestic support funding is in the ratio of 90:10 for special category States (NE States including Sikkim, HP, Uttarakhand, J&K and undivided Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi (KBK) districts of orissa) and drought prone/naxal affected/ tribal areas of non special catergory states and in the ratio of 25:75 (Centre: State) for projects benefiting other areas of non Special Category States. These schemes were approved during the end of financial year 2008-09. Public water bodies are covered under the scheme. A budget provision of Rs. 399.00 crore has been kept during 2009-10 for these schemes of RRR of water bodies with domestic support/external assistance. The scheme of RRR of water bodies includes the comprehensive improvement of water bodies, catchment area treatment, command area development and capacity building of stakeholders, increased availability of drinking water. The guidelines for the scheme of RRR of water bodies with domestic support have already been circulated to the State Governments.

Under the scheme with domestic support, a proposal for renovation of 578 water bodies at a cost of Rs. 181.74 crore from Government of Orissa was received. Expression of Interest have also been received from the state Governments of Madhya Pradesh, J&K, Bihar, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Under the scheme of RRR of Water Bodies with external assistance, World Bank Loan Agreement has been signed with Tamil Nadu for Rs. 2182.00 crore to restore 5763 water bodies having a CCA of 4 lakh hectares, with Andhra Pradesh for Rs. 835.00 crore for restoration of 3000 water bodies with a CCA of 2.5 lakh hectares, with Karnataka for Rs. 268.78 crore for restoration of 1224 water bodies and with Orissa for Rs.448 crore for restoration of 900 water bodies having a CCA of 1.2 lakh hectares.

7.3 Artificial Recharge to Ground Water through Dug Wells

The scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources on “Artificial Recharge to ground water through Dug wells” in 7 States, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh was approved by the Union Cabinet on 15th November, 2007 as announced by the Finance Minister in his Budget speech on 28th February 2007. The scheme has been approved for a cost of Rs.1798.71 Crores with net cost of subsidy to Government in terms of civil works of Rs. 1499.27 Crores. Under the scheme, as on 31st December 2009, net releases of funds by NABARD is Rs. 223.62 crore including Rs. 206.38 crore as subsidy to beneficiaries, Rs. 17.00 crore for IEC/Capacity Building activities and Rs. 0.24 crore for advertisement through DAVP have been released to the concerned States. The States have already started implementation of the scheme and (as on 31st December 2009) net subsidy has been released to a total number of 574685 beneficiaries. The State of Andhra Pradesh has identified the Nodal agency in November 2009.

7.4 Farmers’ Participatory Action Research Programme (FPARP)

Ministry of Water Resources sanctioned Farmers’ Participatory Action Research Programme at 5000 demonstration sites at a cost of Rs. 24.46 crore. This programme is being implemented in 375 districts of 25 States/UTs of the country with the help of 60 Agriculture Universities/ Indian Council of Agricultural Research Institutes / International Crop Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Water and Land Management Institutes (WALMIs) and Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) to increase yield and income per drop of water. Each programme covers a minimum of one hectare and is implemented in a participatory mode with the farm family having a sense of ownership of the programme. Programme was initiated during 2007-08 and till 31st December 2009 funds amounting to Rs. 18.92 crore have been released to the institutes. Out of 5000 demonstrations, a total of 4555 demonstrations have already been completed and 387 are under implementation. The remaining demonstrations have been taken up during the Rabi crop season 2009-10. The performance of the programme is being monitored by the field formations of CWC & CGWB. Interim reports on the implementation of the FPARPs have indicated that there is an increase in yield and income with saving in water use.

Technologies being demonstrated under the programme are:

  • SRI (System of Rice Intensification) cultivation in Rice.
  • Improved irrigation methods – Micro irrigation methods (Sprinkler/Drip).
  • Multiple cropping.
  • Water harvesting technologies (Low Cost Micro Rain Water Harvesting Structure

   i.e.:Jalkund, Storage tanks, Percolation tanks, Check dams, Recharging Wells, etc).

  • Reclamation of soils through - Drainage/Bio-reclamation.
  • Soil & Water conservation measures.
  • Improvement of water use efficiency through suitably improved crop rotations.
  • Bio-farming Technology.
  • Propagation of Aqua Culture Activities e.g. Fish Culture.
  • Crop diversification & multiple use of water

7.5. Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP 2011)

The Central Water Commission (CWC) under Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Government of India, plans to implement, with assistance from the World Bank, the DAM REHABILITATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (DRIP), which would be a six-year project starting from January, 2011. The project would be implemented in 4 States, namely Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu. About 223 large dams in the four participating states with substantial need for rehabilitation and improvements would be included in the project. Development of appropriate institutional mechanisms for the safe operation and maintenance of all large dams would also be taken up in these states. In addition, strengthening of the institutional setup for national level dam safety surveillance and guidance would be taken up in Central Water Commission (CWC) under Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). The project implementation agencies for DRIP would be the owners of dam (i.e. Water Resources Departments (WRD) or State Electricity Boards (SEB)) in the four participating States. The overall implementation of the project would be coordinated by Central Water Commission with assistance of an engineering and management consulting firm.

7.5.1 Historical Background of Scheme

Dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development, which have been key priorities for the Government of India since independence. Irrigated agriculture and hydropower development have been major pillars of the government’s strategy to achieve these priority goals and to ensure food security. Rainfall, which occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within a four-month monsoon season, is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands. Except for the perennial Himalayan Rivers, almost all the river systems in India are seasonal. India ranks third in the world after China and the United States in terms of number of dams. Over the last fifty years, India has invested substantially in infrastructure necessary to store surface runoff in reservoirs formed by large, medium, and small dams with associated appurtenances. In India, there are 4711 large dams completed and another 390 dams are under construction (as per National Register of Large Dams, 2009 published by CWC). These dams have served the country well for the economic stability even in the worst years of drought, floods, cyclones, etc. Out of these, 3750 (79.6%) dams are more than 20 years old. Many large dams are ageing and have various structural deficiencies and shortcomings in operation and monitoring facilities. Few of them do not meet the present design standards – both structurally and hydrologically. Thus an increasing number of dams fall in the category where they need rehabilitation.

Water being a state subject, the state governments are the owners of the dams within their territories, and as such any dam safety related initiatives by the Central Government would necessarily have to involve the state governments also. Keeping this in view, the matter was broached in the State Irrigation Ministers Conference held in 1975; and, as a follow up of its recommendation, a Dam Safety Organization (DSO) was created at the centre in Central Water Commission (CWC) in 1979. The objective of this DSO was to perform a coordinative and advisory role for the State Governments and to lay down guidelines, compile technical literature, organize trainings, etc. and in general to take steps to create awareness in the states about dam safety and thereafter assist in setting up infrastructure for the same

7.5.2 Reason and Justification for DRIP Proposal

The risk of failure of a dam is one of the inevitable concerns of civilization. Dam failures are typically caused by factors of age, construction deficiencies, inadequate maintenance, extreme weather or seismic events, and wrong operation. There have been about 200 notable failures of large dams in the world (as per ICOLD figures of 1995) and more than 8000 people have died in these disasters. Since the dam owners in India – mostly state governments – have limited financial resources for rehabilitation of dams reported to be in distress, an urgent need has been felt for a centrally coordinated scheme to :

(i) ensure rehabilitation and modernization of dams to bring them back to full standard of safety and operation;

(ii) develop and implement adequate maintenance programs;

(iii) ensure regular review of the status of the dams, both by the operator and by independent review panels, to examine problems relating to sustainable O&M of dams;

(iv) formulate standards and guidelines and asset management systems to minimize future risks of dam failures; and

(v)  Strengthen institutional mechanism in states.

In addition to above, need also has been felt for modernizing and strengthening the central level dam safety organization (in CWC) for providing state-of-the-art technical and managerial assistance to the Dam Safety Organizations of states and other dam-owning organizations.

7.5.3 Earlier Initiative Leading to Formulation of DRIP

Earlier, the Dam Safety Assurance & Rehabilitation Project (DSARP) assisted by the World Bank was implemented in 4 States of the Indian Union, namely Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, under overall guidance of Central Water Commission during the period 1991 to 1999. The Project was completed in September 1999 at a cost of Rs.422.95 crore.

Under DSARP, the institutional set-up of “Dam Safety Organization’ at centre as well as in four participating states has been strengthened through training of officers, installation of modern equipments and creation of dedicated set –up. Formulation of a number of guidelines on Dam safety and Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) Atlases has been one of the most significant and unique achievements of the project. Basic Dam safety facilities like providing access roads, back-up power, instrumentation, installation of communication system, stockpiling of emergency materials etc. have also been provided at 182 dams in the 4 states. Thirty-three dams have come up to the desired safety level, reducing risk and adverse environmental impact on the property and people living downstream.

The DSARP Project, assisted by the World Bank, was a unique project and first of its kind anywhere in the world. After seeing the performance and benefits accrued from the project, an imperative need has been felt that another project covering some more States having significant number of large dams be implemented through the World Bank assistance on similar terms and conditions. Accordingly, eleven States, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal were included in the initial proposal, and subsequently the States of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa were also included on specific requests from them.

The World Bank DRIP Preparation Mission visited India from 12 to 22 November, 2008 and held discussions with officials of CWC & participating States. Out of 13 identified States only 11 States participated in the discussions (Uttar Pradesh and Bihar did not attend the discussion). The Aide Memoire ( November, 2008) circulated by the World Bank indicated inclusion of 5 States viz. Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu as confirmed States for DRIP implementation on the basis of institutional readiness, government interest and commitment. Of the other states that had earlier shown interest in the project, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh indicated that they would be unlikely to join DRIP. The World Bank Mission considered that the proposals from Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal were not sufficient for inclusion for reasons of small number of dams proposed, or quality and readiness of documentation.

The finalized 5 states were requested to convey their government level willingness with concurrence of their finance department for participation in DRIP. The government of Chhattisgarh has indicated that they are not inclined for taking part in the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project with World Bank assistance. However, willingness was indicated by 4 states namely Kerala, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

As was the case with DSARP, the central component of DRIP will also be implemented in Central Water Commission, involving institutional strengthening measures for its Dam Safety Organization (DSO). The overall responsibility for project oversight and implementation would rest with the Dam Safety Rehabilitation Directorate in DSO of CWC.

7.6 Project Economics and Justification

The proposed project includes: (i) rehabilitation and physical improvements of 223 dams in four states; (ii) strengthening of institutional capacity of participating states and centre for sustainable dam operation and maintenance and monitoring of dam safety. The project will be implemented in the four states of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu, and in Central Water Commission under Ministry of Water Resources.

The project will target physical and technical dam improvements, and managerial upgrading of dam operations, management and maintenance, with accompanying institutional reforms and strengthening of regulatory measures pertaining to safe and financially-sustainable dam operations. Large dams with substantial need for rehabilitation and improvements have been included and appropriate institutional mechanisms for their safe operation will be developed. Many dams suffer from operational deficiencies, while some dams have structural and mechanical problems that could become a safety hazard. Some dams are prematurely nearing the end of their economic life, while others have lost a proportion of their reservoir capacity.

The foremost justification of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project is the protection of human lives. However, to quantify this protection in economic terms is not possible. Further benefits relate to:

(i) avoidance of direct physical damage to private and public assets downstream of the dam at risk;

(ii) avoidance of the very large indirect negative multiplier effects on the various sectors of the economies downstream of the reservoirs, irrigated agriculture being the main driver of those local economies; and

(iii) avoidance of replacement of the dam and reservoir.

The primary beneficiaries, both urban and rural communities, are dependent on reservoirs for their water supply and livelihood, as well as all downstream communities of 223 dams who could be placed at physical and/or operational risk if dam safety is compromised.

Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 6:46 AM