New Delhi: With scanty rainfall hampering sowing of summer crops, studies by four IIMs have revealed that various states failed to utilize nearly 15 million hectares of irrigation potential created by the end of the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-07).
The studies found that out of 102 million hectares of irrigation potential created by the end of the 10th Five Year Plan, 87.2 million hectares were utilized - leaving a gap of 14.8 million hectares.
Studies carried out by the IIMs at Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bangalore have observed that the gap between the irrigation potential created and utilized has widened considerably through various plans.
The studies had found lack of proper operation and maintenance, incomplete distribution system, changes in initially designed cropping pattern and diversion of irrigable land for other purposes as the main reasons behind widening of the gap.
In a bid to optimally utilizing the irrigation potential created, the ministry of water resources had asked the four IIMs to carry out the studies two years ago. The reports were submitted to the ministry recently. The four institutes had selected different states to carry out the study.
The ministry has forwarded their recommendations to various states and stakeholders for implementation.