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Development and Management of Irrigation in Maharashtra-With Special Reference to Major and Medium Surface Irrigation Systems

The major and medium storage system of surface irrigation has a crucial role to play in water-scarce, drought- prone, seasonal river-flowing Maharashtra. Unfortunately, the performance of this sector has been far from satisfactory. Poor state of maintenance, largely due to paucity of funds available with the state government and low water rates and their poor recovery, is responsible for the system's inefficiency.

Irrigation Reform

Irrigation Reform Ashok K Mitra Water Institutions in India: Economics, Law and Policy by R Maria Saleth; Commonwealth Publishers, New Delhi, 1996; pp 299 + ix, Rs 480.

Irrigation Sector Reforms-Issues and Approaches

Issues and Approaches Ashok K Mitra Paucity of resources and poor performance of existing major and medium irrigation systems are the two main problems faced by the irrigation sector in India. However, making available adequate investible resources alone cannot bring about desired changes in the efficiency of the systems. The paper argues for a simultaneous reform at institutional level which would provide an appropriate organisational structure for optimum utilisation of finances as well as water supply.

In Search of Complementary and Interventionist Nature of Policies

In Search of Complementary and Interventionist Nature of Policies Ashok K Mitra Managing Common Property: Irrigation in India and the Philippines by Nirmal Sengupta; Indo-Dutch Studies on Development Alternatives

Joint Management of Irrigation Systems in India-Relevance of Japanese Experience

in India Relevance of Japanese Experience Ashok K Mitra Past experience would suggest that the inadequate attention paid to farm level irrigation water management is one of the reasons for low performance of the major/medium irrigation projects in the country.lhis paper assesses comparatively the present system of operation, management and distribution of water in surfadt irrigation in India and the water control institutions in Japan and makes out a case for the relevance of the latter in India.

Interdisciplinary Organisational Theory and Irrigation Management

Interdisciplinary Organisational Theory and Irrigation Management Ashok K Mitra Managing Irrigation: Analysing and Improving the Performance of Bureaucracies by Norman Uphoff with Priti Ramamurthy and Roy Steiner; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1991; pp 263, Rs 180.

Agricultural Production in Maharashtra-Growth and Instability in the Context of New Technology

All-India estimates of instability in agricultural production may tend to mask the considerable interstate differences in these estimates. This would be especially true of low rainfall, water scarce and drought prone states like Maharashtra, which may present a picture completely different from the all-India one.

Major and Minor Irrigation Works

Major and Minor Irrigation Works Ashok K Mitra THE tone, tenor and contents of Dhawan's paper entitled 'Major and Minor Irrigation Works: Cost Aspects of the Controversy' (EPW, September 30, 1989) are indeed intriguing. With this paper he appears to have switched roles from that of an unbiased social scientist to one of a crusader of big dams. From time to time Dhawan has been writing on the hotly debated issue of promoting minor or major irrigation works in India, His stand on the issue, till the piece under discussion saw the light of the day, appeared to be unbiased, logical, and based on a sound analytical framework. As a specialist on the subject matter of Indian irrigation development, he has been advocating that development of major surface irrigation system alongwjth groundwater exploitation is a must for agricultural growth and development in India. Unfortunately, his latest paper on this issue gives one the impression that he is betraying the symptoms of a lobbyist for the cuase of big dams.

Water Resources Management-Discussion at Agricultural Economics Conference

The discussion on water resource management at the Golden Jubilee Conference of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics covered most of the areas that are engaging the attention of irrigation planners.

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams Ashok K Mitra 3 D Dhawan (May 20) has attempted to put he issues relating to large and medium forage route to irrigation development in proper perspective. While he himself is not onvinced with the questions raised by the environmentalists, soil conservationists, social and natural scientists against the role of major irrigation works based on big lams, he has appealed to the irrigation plan- iers to engage in an open dialogue and liscussion with their critics. His own defence against the grounds on which the idea of big lams is being questioned, however, does not ippear to be too convincing. To begin with, insider first the environmental angle. While ie accepts that the forest cover to be lost by single dam like Narmada Sagar can be un- iuly high it is no solace to learn from him hat damage to forest is much higher on ac- count of illegal felling, unauthorised ploughing of forest lands, authorised allotment of forest land do dam oustees, and increased pressure from the grazier. Besides, or all we know, damage to forest because if all these factors may be the backlash of brest cover lost and people ousted for the instruetion of big dams. In any case to minimise such losses his suggestion is to increase the storage height. But, it should of be overlooked that reducing the rcser- oir size is not merely a technical issue; its eonomic implications in terms of costs and enefits will have to be worked out in order examine if the economic feasibility is Aversely affected. A more general point, hpwever, is that loss of forest cover cannot counted only in terms of felled trees, it as to be seen in its entirety in terms of estroying the whole eco-system which in the ong run may adversely affect the availability water in the reservoir through siltation and deficient rainfall in the catchment area, trc all these externalities fully internalised in listifying the projects on economic grounds? Similarly, the problem of land degrada- |on by waterlogging and soil salinity within the canal commands served by big reservoirs, suggests, can be effectively checked with id equate provision of drainage or the use If drip or sprinkler modes of water use as case may be. But, the cost of drainage irk is no different from that of the canal twork itself and hence because of paucity investment fund this work is missing from ir major canal network. Yet the benefit is climated on the entire potential created sregarding the fact that owing to lack of ainage gradually in the long run more and ore land in the canal command would get graded. Has this been properly accounted in cost benefit analysis to justify the object on economic grounds? Secondly, consider the technical issue lated to seismic disturbances owing to im- wnding huge mass of water as in the case Tehri dam in Garhwal which may cause earthquake of severe intensity leading to ter disaster. Again, is the safety factor sug- sted by Dhawan considered in full, if so, is the increased cost involved in ensuring such safety economically justify constructing such dams? Tehri dam's case in this respect has been very clearly brought out by Paranjpye which merits very serious consideration Thirdly, the sociological angle of rehabilitation of dam oustees, one of the most sensitive issues, cannot be settled by earmarking a lump sum amount as compensation to be paid as suggested by Dhawan. The nature of compensation to be paid, the manner in which it is to be paid, the period over which it is to be paid and whether it covers the annual income earned by the oustees have to be examined in detail. The planners and the officials are most secretive about these details. One wonders, if the compensation is arrived at in this manner how far would the project be viable in terms of benefit-cost ratio.

Underutilisation Revisited-Surface Irrigation in Drought Prone Areas of Western Maharashtra

Surface Irrigation in Drought Prone Areas of Western Maharashtra Ashok K Mitra This paper examines irrigation potential and its utilisation in respect of the Mula irrigation system in Western Maharashtra.

Surplus Labour in Agriculture- Some Estimates

apd to study the determinants. But the highly aggregative character of the results furnished for the topmost asset- holding group needs modification. We would expect the Reserve Bank to come forward with detailed tabulated results, THERE has been a general notion for a long time that the traditional agriculture provides employment to many more persons than is necessary to produce a given level of output. This notion was very strong during the fifties and sixties, particularly in India, and it was regarded as an almost established fact that the agricultural sector of a developing country like India suffers from large-scale disguised unemployment or underemployment.1 A large number of studies were then conducted on the concept and measurement of the surplus labour arising out of the -.underemployment in Indian agriculture; was felt, very strongly, that the Resulting surplus labour could be considered as assets and utilised for capital formation in the economy.2 However, the initial over-reaction
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