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POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY TN

2012). The state

2012). The state government spends roughly about 2 percent of its total revenue expenditure on irrigation. The revenue-expenditure ratio was less than one percent for major schemes and about 2 percent for medium works. Thus, almost the entire amount spent on these schemes can be considered as subsidy to this sector. The interest charge was the main component (55 percent) of the total revenue expenditure on major and medium schemes followed by salary (including wages, dearness allowance and pension) with 33 percent share. The maintenance work (plus the minor and major works) alone accounted for about 10 percent, i.e. one-tenth of budgetary allocation (Table 5.11). Table 5.11: Expenditures According to Detailed Heads (2000-01) Detailed Heads of Major and Medium Irrigation Minor Irrigation Account Amount (Rs. lakh) Percent share Amount (Rs. lakh) Percent Share Maintenance 3311.73 9.5 2003.09 97.6 Minor Works 64.45 0.2 0 0.0 Major Works 31.71 0.1 48.93 2.4 Interest 19068.44 54.8 0 0.0 Salaries 7506.53 21.6 0.86 0.0 Wages 20.67 0.1 0 0.0 Professional/Special fees 878.20 2.5 0 0.0 Pension 121.46 0.3 0 0.0 Dearness Allowances 2883.39 8.3 0.33 0.0 Festival Advances 82.49 0.2 0 0.0 Training 63.59 0.2 0 0.0 Scholarships and Stipends 10.92 0.0 0 0.0 Travel Expenses 486.28 1.4 8 0.0 Motor Vehicles 64.63 0.2 0 0.0 Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants 145.83 0.4 0 0.0 Tools and Plants 0.44 0.0 0 0.0 Rent, Rates and Taxes 34.34 0.1 0 0.0 Total 34769.10 100.0 2053.17 100.0 Source: Computed from Detailed Demand for Grant (Demand No. 38) PWD, Budget Publication, Government of Tamil Nadu. Thus, the maintenance works were undertaken out of the residual funds left after meeting other commitments. Further, in almost all major and medium systems, the maintenance expenditure is below the norm recommended by the Ministry of Water Resources. The low cost recovery ratio (about 16 percent of total maintenance cost) is 110

the major cause for poor maintenance of systems. Inadequate funding on maintenance works coupled with lack of expenditure prioritization has led to rapid deterioration of surface irrigation. The cost of water for farmers and water users did not reflect the scarcity value of water. In July 2003, the government increased irrigation water charges. Previously water charges were levied at a base rate that varied by crop, season, and soil quality plus an additional charge equivalent to six times the base rate. But the additional charge was transferred to the local panchayats. From July 2003, an additional water charge of Rs. 1.50 per hectares has been levied. In addition, the Tamil Nadu Farmers Management Irrigation System Act empowers the water users associations (WUAs) to collect a fee ranging between Rs. 250 and Rs. 500 per hectares and use for O&M of the systems. e. Institutional Aspects Institutional arrangement also did not adequately address water resource management, allocation and planning. Farmers’ involvement in the operation and maintenance of irrigation system has been minimal. However, efforts have been made in recent years to address many of the policy and institutional issues plaguing the water sector. The state is now undertaking comprehensive water planning on a river basin basis and has decentralized water resource management along river basins. The Tamil Nadu Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems Bill was passed by the State Legislative Assembly in May 2000. This Bill created a three-tier system management organization, including WUAs at the outlet and WUAs at the 500 hectares command levels and a joint management committee (called Farmers’ Council) at the project level. It also allows for the full or partial transfer of O&M responsibilities to these bodies. Each WUA has complete responsibility for water distribution and maintenance in the area under its jurisdiction. The Farmers Council is entrusted to deciding on water allocation and other issues if any arises (Dorosh and Sur, 2004). The state also passed the Ground Water Regulation and Management Act. It has also enacted an important legislation, which requires rainwater harvesting system in all buildings to recharge the groundwater and arresting sea water intrusion. The program for rain water harvesting and runoff management has been implemented on watershed basis. Further, rain water harvesting works such as farm ponds, check dams, percolation ponds and rejuvenation of failed, unused and abandoned wells have been taken up under all Soil and Water Conservation Programme. 111

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