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Command Area Development and Water Management Programme

The Centrally sponsored Command Area Development (CAD) Programme was launched in 1974-75 with the main objectives of improving the utilization of created irrigation potential and optimizing agriculture production and productivity from irrigated agriculture through a multi-disciplinary team under an Area Development Authority.

Initially, 60 major and medium irrigation projects were taken up under the CAD Programme, covering a Culturable Command Area (CCA) of about 15.00 million hectare. From 1974-75 till now 314 projects with a CCA of 28.95 Million ha have been included under the programme. After inclusion of new projects, deletion of completed projects and clubbing of some projects, there are now 136 projects under implementation. The programme was restructured and renamed as Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) Programme w.e.f. 1-4-2004. The scheme is now being implemented as a State sector scheme during the XI Five Year Plan (2008-09 to 2011-12).

The National Water Policy, 2002 stresses on participatory approach in water resources management. It has been recognized that participation of beneficiaries in water resource management will help considerably in proper upkeep of irrigation system and optimal utilization of irrigation water. The participation of farmers in the management of irrigation would promote responsibility for operation and maintenance and collection of water charges from the areas under the jurisdiction of Water Users' Association (WUAs). A one-time functional grant is provided to the registered WUAs under the programme. Minimum contribution of 10 per cent for beneficiaries has been made mandatory in the cost of construction of field channels, full package OFD works, reclamation of water logged areas and one time functional grant to WUAs.

The evaluation made in the past has revealed that the CAD Programme made positive impact on various important indicators, like increase in the irrigated area, productivity and production, irrigation efficiency etc. Despite efforts for efficient irrigation water management, the problem of water logging has surfaced in many irrigated commands. Under the component on reclamation of water logged areas, 482 schemes of nine States, namely, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have been approved for reclamation of 63,566 ha. of water logged area. Out of this, an area of about 50,249 ha. has been reported to be reclaimed by these States up to March 2009.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 17-02-2011