Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kerala�s water resource development schemes lack

KOZHIKODE: A delegation of Hindi-speaking farmers from Haryana sat around a table with their Malayali counterparts on the World Water Day on Monday at the Centre for Water Resource Development and Management (CWRDM) here, curiously quizzing each other about the water resource development and management in their respective regions.

Both the delegations interacted with the assistance of the officials of Command Area Development Authority (CADA) and the farmers from the North were virtually awe-struck to learn about the dilapidated condition of irrigation systems in Kerala for want of funds.

The farmers from Haryana had toured the rural areas of the state for about six days prior to their interaction and had visited various irrigation projects such as Banasurasagar and Kuttiyadi apart from exploring the different methods of farming done in Kerala.

On Monday, the Haryana farmers spelled out their voluminous profiteering in agriculture using the scare water resource in their state, which was 10 times less than the average water productivity of nearly 3,000 ML annually in Kerala.

The spellbound Malayali Water Users Association (WUA) members admitted that they were unable to raise a part of the funding required to develop the water systems in their region. It was learnt that the WUAs here were reluctant to collect just 10 per cent of funding needed to upgrade the water systems in their locality that would, then, be assisted by the remaining 90 per cent apart from technical support from the government.

It is this reluctancy that has devastated the numerous irrigation projects in the state. All they have is to register by depositing Rs 100 and raising the 10 per cent amount.

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