Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Unlike the last budget, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari has allocated Rs 175 crore less to the irrigation schemes in the State.

Moreover, the irrigation budget carries an imprint of ‘Made for Western Odisha’.

A detailed glance at the allocations reveal that outlays made under different irrigation schemes in this budget lacks a holistic approach.

Consider the details that bring out the devil.

While the total allocation made under various irrigation schemes and projects in Budget 2021-22 totalled a number of Rs 6,365 crore (as per FM Pujari’s Budget Speech document), the amount allocated last year (2020-21) stood at Rs 6,540 crore.

Sample The Ups And Downs in Allocations

  • In-stream Storage  Structures  (ISS): For 23  new  ISS  during  2021-22,  a  budget  allocation  of  795 crores for this year
  • ISS: Allocation in 2020-21 stood at Rs 1,092 cr
  • AIBP (Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme): A central scheme, the allocation proposed this year stood at a massive Rs 2,258 crore against Rs 1,811 crore in 2020-21.
  • Water Sector      Infrastructure      Development      Programme  (WSIDP): The allocation stood at Rs 454 in 2021-22 as against Rs 910 crore.
  • Flood control and drainage: The allocation in 2021-22 down to Rs 710 crore from Rs 1060 crore in 2020-21.
  • Western Odisha touch: Parvati Giri project saw allocation of Rs 860 crore vis-à-vis Rs 540 cr in 2020-21.
  • Kalahandi’s Sandul irrigation project taken up in this budget
  • Jalanidhi scheme: The allocation of Rs 180 crore is same as that of the previous budget.
  • Deep Borewell Secha Karyakrama: Rs 389 crore allocated for 21,000 deep bore wells in 2021-22vis-a-vis Rs459 cr in 2020-21.
  • Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM): Allocation down to Rs 81 crore from Rs 300 cr in last budget.
  • Canal Lining and System Rehabilitation Programme (CLSRP): Allocation slashed to Rs 101 crore from Rs 190 cr in 2020-21.
  • Nil allocation under Biju Krishak Vikas Yojana as against Rs 360 allocation last year.
  • Odisha   Integrated   Irrigation   Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA): Allocation stood at Rs 200 crore against Rs 150 crore last year.
  • Nil allocation in 2021-22 as against Rs 150 crore for 538 minor irrigation projects in 2020-21
  • Ground Water Recharge through Community Ponds: Not mentioned in the budget speech.
  • Revival of Defunct Lift Irrigation Projects: Allocation for 2021-22 stood at Rs 160 cr vis-à-vis Rs 190 crore.

Big Takeaway: The AIBP outlay saw the biggest spike as the progress of projects taken under the central scheme had been very lackadaisical in the State. Moreover, when the last budget carried a balanced approach in giving a boost to the irrigation infra in the State, the same intent is thoroughly lacking in this budget, which is evident from the allocations made.

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