ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Jayesh TalatiSubscribe to Jayesh Talati

Issues in Canal Infrastructure Development and Canal Irrigation Management

The Gujarat government is experimenting with different approaches to develop canal infrastructure and manage canal irrigation below tertiary (minor) canal in the Sardar Sarovar Project. Though the project is based on the principle of participatory irrigation management, hardly any water users' associations have taken over canal management below the level of the minor canal. This study attempts to understand the dynamics of canal irrigation management at the village service area in the absence of proper infrastructure development and institutional arrangements.

Institutional Vacuum in Sardar Sarovar Project

Few large irrigation projects in India have been as elaborately planned as the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), incorporating as it did the lessons of decades of irrigation project design and management. The project was to blaze a new trail in farmer-participatory irrigation project design and management with water user associations building their own distribution systems. However, as it unfolds, the institutional reality of the project is vastly different from its plans. If SSP is to chart a different course from scores of earlier large irrigation projects, it must invent and put into place new rules of the irrigation management game.
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