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

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Large-Scale Canal Irrigation-How Cost Effective

How Cost Effective?
B D Dhawan Canal irrigation is a costly proposition, more so when provided under government aegis because of grave inefficiencies in project implementation and canal operation. To irrigate one crop hectare with canal water it costs the nation Rs 2,277 infixed and variable expenses in 1992-93. Barely 5 per cent of this cost was recovered through irrigation fees levied on farmers, What is more disturbing is that, net of price inflation, marginal cost of canal irrigation tended to rise by 8 per cent per annum in recent years. Is this huge cost rise (in real terms) a genuine phenomenon, or merely indicative of large-scale corruption in irrigation department? With marginal cost of irrigation increasing phenomenally, would canal irrigation remain an economically viable proposition at all?

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