60. Gujarat has 96 lac hectares of arable land. Is it possible to get all the 3 crops in the 3 seasons of the year by adopting the scientific method of irrigation?

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With proper and efficient water management, we can grow all the 3 crops-the Rabi crop, the Kharif crop and the Zaid crop- in a year. It is with very efficient water management only that this historical achievement can be acquired.

With only 1% of water available for human consumption, doesn’t it make sense that we should treat our water supply with more respect? The problem of water is both local and global. It is very important for India also to seek, to find and to start using all the innovative water conservation solutions and methods that are available.

Gujarat can become the best model of efficient water management and inspire the whole nation to adopt innovative methods of water management. If Gujarat wants to become a model town of efficient water management, all the farmers must adopt the latest methods of micro irrigation. Political leaders, officers as well as informed and pro-active individuals should work together with perfect co-ordination.

The irrigation capacity of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam is 18 lac hectares. Besides the Narmada dam there are other 200 dams in Gujarat and their total irrigation capacity is 12 lac hectares. 23 lac hectares of land can be irrigated with ground water. Thus the total irrigation capacity of Gujarat state is 53 lac hectares of land.

Farmers use old method of irrigation. The practical experience of farmers says that by using Drip Irrigation Method farmers can irrigate 4 to 5 hectares of land with the quantity of water required to irrigate only 1 hectare of land if the old flood irrigation method is used. Experts say that with ground water and water withdrawn from a number of dams, 53 lac hectares of land can be irrigated if the old flood irrigation method is adopted. Getting rid of old irrigation method, if farmers are willing to adopt the latest Drip Irrigation Method, 1.59 crore hectares of land can be irrigated with the same quantity of water.

Gujarat state has 96 lac hectares of arable land. If Drip Irrigation Method is adopted all over Gujarat, farmers can grow all the 3 crops in the 3 seasons of the year. To achieve this target, it is necessary to construct a network of pipelines emanating from dams. Main canals are connected with dams and subordinate canals are connected with these main canals. A network of DHORIYA is connected with these subordinate canals. If we want to increase water use efficiency, the network of DHORIYA should be replaced by a network of pipelines connected with a water supply junction. From this water supply junction water should be supplied to the Village Irrigation MANDLI and from there water should be supplied to Farmers Irrigation MANDLI and farmers irrigation MANDLI should be provided with a water tank and electric connection. The farmer should take this water through pipelines to his field and irrigate his field by Drip Irrigation Method. Similarly ground water should be used for irrigation but the method of irrigation should be the latest micro irrigation method-Drip Irrigation Method. If all these innovative methods are adopted, farmers of Gujarat can grow crops in all the 3 seasons of the year and Gujarat can gain the honour of being a model state of the most efficient water management. Then the government of Gujarat will not need to allot crores of rupees for constructing new dams, and for acquiring land to construct those dams. The existing dams of Gujarat can provide sufficient water for irrigation of all the arable land of Gujarat.

If this scheme materializes, farmers will never have to suffer a crop failure due to irregular rain. A crop failure results in a terrific loss of Rs. 17000 crores. Then the government is compelled to allot crores of rupees to implement a number of relief schemes such as providing water tankers and food grains. Moreover this drought has a very adverse effect on all kinds of business. Its direct impact can be seen in the government’s treasury as the government also looses a major portion of income acquired from taxation.

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If a Pipeline Network Scheme is implemented in Gujarat, all the 3 crops of the year can be grown in Gujarat. It will raise the present agricultural production worth Rs. 75000 crores to Rs. 300000 crores. What a huge profit!

Keeping in view all these benefits, it is wise to invest money to construct a network of pipelines. It will multiply agricultural production. A large number of job opportunities will be generated for the future generations. There will be an enormous rise in the income of farmers and the government. A crop failure always results in a huge loss to the government and to farmers. But this scheme will put a full stop to crop failures and to enormous losses suffered by the government and farmers. The government will no longer need to construct new dams to increase irrigation capacity. The demands for wells and bore-wells will decrease and electricity will be saved. A crop failure always has a direct adverse effect on the government’s income from various taxes paid by the people. This will also come to a stop. As water will be supplied to fields through a network of pipelines, land formerly used for DHORIYA irrigation will also be used for agriculture. The government has to spend crores of rupees to build and maintain a DHORIYA network. In a nutshell, a network of pipelines will be profitable in a number of ways. We will reap innumerable profits. Spending money to build a network of pipelines will be ultimately beneficial to all. One year’s expenses will give profits for 50 years.

Gujarat government should get a Model of Pipelines Network designed and constructed for any one dam so that it can guide the remaining farmers of Gujarat to construct a similar network of pipelines in their village also.