Since 1985 Ministry of Water Resources has been inspiring farmers’ participation in
water distribution and management of tertiary system in the projects covered under the
Centrally Sponsored Command Area Development Programme. The concept of involvement
of farmers in management of the irrigation system has been accepted as a policy of the
Government of India and has been included in the National Water Policy adopted in 1987.
Provisions made in the National Water Policy of 1987 were as under:
“Efforts should be made to involve farmers progressively in various aspects of management
of irrigation systems, particularly in water distribution and collection of water rates.
Assistance of voluntary agencies should be enlisted in educating the farmers in efficient
water-use and water management.”
In April 1987, the Ministry of Water Resources issued guidelines for farmers’
participation in water management, primarily for areas under the Centrally Sponsored
Command Area Development Programme. The guidelines covered all aspects like past
experience in India and abroad, objectives of PIM, area of operation of farmers’ associations
in different irrigation schemes, duties and responsibilities of the farmers, training and
Recognising the need to provide legal backup to PIM in the country, Ministry of
Water Resources commissioned an NGO, ‘Society for Peoples’ Participation in Ecosystem
Management (SOPPECOM)’, Pune to suggest suitable amendments in the existing irrigation
acts which could be recommended to States for incorporation in their State Irrigation Acts.
‘SOPPECOM’ has been in the forefront of work relating to PIM and has successfully
pioneered many action research programmes on formation of WUAs. The suggestions of
‘SOPPECOM’ were circulated to States during June 1998.
Conferences at National, State and Project levels have been organized for creating
awareness on Participatory Irrigation Management amongst farmers and officials.
Ministry of Water Resources has been organising National level training programmes
on PIM in various parts of the country for CAD functionaries. In addition, matching grant is
also being provided to States for organizing State and project level training programmes for
farmers and field functionaries.
Objectives of PIM
To create a sense of ownership of water resources and the irrigation system
among the users, so as to promote economy in water use and preservation of the
To improve service deliveries through better operation and maintenance.
To achieve optimum utilization of available resources through sophisticated
deliveries, precisely as per crop needs.
To achieve equity in water distribution.
To increase production per unit of water, where water is scarce and to increase
production per unit of land where water is adequate.
To make best use of natural precipitation and ground water in conjunction with
flow irrigation for increasing irrigation and cropping intensity.
To facilitate the users to have a choice of crops, cropping sequence, timing of
water supply, period of supply and also frequency of supply, depending on soils,
climate and other infrastructure facilities available in the commands such as roads,
markets cold storages, etc., so as to maximize the incomes and returns.
To encourage collective and community responsibility on the farmers to collect
water charges and payment to Irrigation Agency.
To create healthy atmosphere between the Irrigation Agency personnel and the
Necessity of PIM
The old dictum is that necessity is the mother of invention. This may be judged in
respect of PIM also with the following considerations:
Need of increase in agricultural production: The human as well as bovine
population has been increasing all over the world and more so in India. As such the need of
food, fiber, fuel, fodder etc. has also been increasing with fast rate. It is, hence, imperative to
increase the agricultural production to keep pace with the requirement. Irrigation being
lifeline of agriculture, its development and meticulous management is the necessity of the
day. All over the world and so in India, it is known that easy locations to tap surface water
have almost exhausted. Increasing the existing reservoirs capacity and taking up of new
projects is causing serious financial and social problems. So far as ground water development
is concerned, it has its own limitations and the most important being over exploitation of this
resource at many places particularly in many parts of India. Moreover financing is another
constraint. Hence proper management of already created water resources development
structures is extremely essential at this juncture, in order to strike the balance between need
and the agricultural production. Since farmers are the real stakeholders, they have to come
forward through their associations to look after their interest so that they get water from the
system according to the predetermined time and space for planning their crops.
Problem of fiscal availability: There is severe budgetary competition at the
government level under different sectors. The ratio of financial outlay for the irrigation sector
to the total outlay is coming down year after year. Moreover there are many uncompleted
irrigation projects, where work is going on and there is demand of meeting the regional
balance to provide irrigation facility almost all over. Under such circumstances, investment
of more money by the Government on operation and maintenance of the old system appears
difficult. Thus, farmers have to take up this responsibility themselves in order to avoid over
burdening of the Government exchequer and to become self-dependent.
O&M cost and recovery of irrigation charges: This aspect has already been
discussed elsewhere which indicates that O&M cost is much higher than the recoverable
irrigation charges as per present rate. Even these low rates are not being recovered in full.
Often the cost of recovery of water charges by Government is more than the amount
recovered. This is causing severe budget constraints to Government and consequently O&M
could not be properly carried out resulting in system deficiency and unreliability of irrigation
water to farmers. The Water Users’ Associations could play this role in a better way.
Other compulsions: Besides above aspects, there are other compulsions like non
availability of water when it is needed, taking immediate problems like leakages, adopting
flexibility in water distribution and taking many more initiatives by farmers’ group to make
their farm economy a sustainable proposition, PIM appears extremely necessary and
Provision in National Water Policy (2002)
Following modifications were made in the National Water Policy (2002) regarding
the participatory approach to water resources management:
“Management of the water resources for diverse uses should incorporate a participatory
approach: by involving not only the various governmental agencies but also the users’ and
other stakeholders, in an effective and decisive manner, in various aspects of planning,
design, development and management of the water resources schemes. Necessary legal and
institutional changes should be made at various levels for the purpose, duly ensuring
appropriate role for women. Water Users’ Association and local bodies such as
municipalities and Gram-Panchayats should particularly be involved in the operation,
maintenance and management of water infrastructures/facilities at appropriate levels
progressively, with a view to eventually transfer the management of such facilities to the user
groups/ local bodies”
Provisions in PIM Acts
Recognising the need for sound legal framework for PIM in the country, the Ministry
brought out a model act to be adopted by the State Legislatures for enacting new irrigation
acts/amending the existing irrigation acts for facilitating PIM. In accordance with the model
act eight State Governments, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka,
Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have enacted new acts. The legal framework
provides for creation of farmers organisations at different levels of irrigation system as under:
a. Water Users’ Association (WUA): will have a delineated command area on a
hydraulic basis, which shall be administratively viable. Generally a WUA would
cover a group of outlets or a minor.
b. Distributary Committee: will comprise of 5 or more WUAs. All the presidents of
WUAs will comprise general body of the distributary committee.
c. Project Committee: will be an apex committee of an irrigation system and
presidents of the Distributary committees in the project area shall constitute general
body of this committee.
The Associations at different levels are expected to be actively involved in: (i)
maintenance of irrigation system in their area of operation; (ii) distribution of irrigation water
to the beneficiary farmers as per the warabandi schedule; (iii) assisting the irrigation
department in the preparation of water demand and collection of water charges; (iv) resolve
disputes among the members and WUA; (v) monitoring flow of water in the irrigation system
The functions of Water Users’ Associations, Distributary Committees and Project
Committees are given in detail in the Annexure-1.
Status of Enactment of Legislation for PIM
As a result of various conferences/ seminars organised by the Ministry, there has been
an increased consciousness in States about the need for actively involving farmers in
management of irrigation system. Accordingly States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar,
Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa,
Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have enacted exclusive legislations for
involvement of farmers in irrigation management. Government of Bihar has issued a
notification “The Bihar Irrigation, Flood Management and Drainage Rules, 2003”, in exercise
of the powers conferred by The Bihar Irrigation Act, 1997. Details of the Acts/Rules are
given in Table 1.
Table-1: State-wise Position of Enactment of New Act / Amendment of existing
Irrigation Act
Name of
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
Position of issue / amendment of Irrigation Act
Enacted “Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Management of Irrigation
Systems Act, March, 1997”
The Assam Irrigation Water Users Act 2004
“The Bihar Irrigation, Flood Management and Drainage Rules,
2003” under the Bihar irrigation Act, 1997
Enacted “Chhattisgarh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki
Bhagidari Adhiniyam, 2006”.
Enacted “Goa Command Area Development Act 1997 (Goa Act
27 of 1997)”
Gujarat Water Users Participation Management Act, 2007
Promulgated an Ordinance on 7th June 2000 for amendment of
the existing Karnataka Irrigation Act 1957.
Enacted “The Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act
Enacted “Madhya Pradesh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki
Bhagidari Adhiniyam, 1999” during September 1999.
“The Maharashtra Management of Irrigation Systems by Farmers
Enacted “The Orissa Pani Panchayat Act, 2002”.
Passed the “Rajasthan Sinchai Pranali Ke Prabandh Me Krishkon
Ki Sahabhagita Adhiniyam, 2000”.
“Sikkim Irrigation Water Tax 2002” and “Sikkim Irrigation
Water Tax (Amendment) Act 2008”
Enacted the “Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Management of Irrigation
Systems Act, 2000”.
Enacted the “Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Management Act, 2009”
Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Manipur have drafted their PIM bills which are
in the process of enactment. There is the likelihood of Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal
Pradesh following the PRI Acts. Thus majority of States have decided to move towards PIM.
The State-wise details of WUAs formed are given in the Table 2.
Table- 2: State-wise Number of Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) and Area
covered by them
Name of State
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Himachal Pra.
Madhya Pra.
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal
Number of WUAs
Area covered
(‘000 ha)
Say, 14.62 Million Hectares
Constraints in Implementation of PIM (Issues)
There may be a necessity and practicability in adoption of PIM yet there are a number
of constraints in making the PIM sustainable in the long run. Some of these are:
a) Lack of legal back up and policy changes: In many States, there is no or very little legal
back up and clear-cut policy decision at the Government level to take up PIM, which is a big
impediment in implementation of PIM. For the actual irrigation management transfer and
operation of PIM in an irrigation project, policy changes and legal back up are essential. This
is important for distributing required quantity of water at minor / distributary take off points,
taking up correction of system deficiency, claim to get the maintenance funds proportionate
to its portion transferred to associations, collection of water charges and retaining some
portion of it for WUAs functioning, fixation of water rates, incentives to farmers, resolution
of conflicts etc. Clarity on legislation is also required in certain States.
b) System deficiency: In older projects, there are many problems like deterioration of old
control and measuring structures, leakages and seepage at various places, erosion of banks
and beds, siltation and weed infestation. These are serious problems, hindering farmers to
take over the system management on technical and financial considerations.
c) Uncertainty of water availability: This is another important aspect, as farmers will
understandably be reluctant to take on the responsibility for managing the system unless
deliveries of water are made reliable, flexible, practical and responsive to need. The
engineers on their part may not be confident about ensuring supply of the requisite quantity
of water to the WUAs, as would be obligatory in terms of the MOU signed between
Irrigation Agency and WUA.
Further, the farmers who have their holdings at the head of the canal tend to
appropriate more water than required, whereas the farmers at the tail end often fail to get their
apportioned share of water. Head-enders, therefore, have vested interest in continuing the
existing arrangements. The tail-enders may not be keen to form WUAs as water supply in
such areas remains inadequate and erratic and they remain apprehensive that the situation will
not be materially altered if an association is formed. These differences in perceptions and
conflicts of interests inhibit the coming together of head end and tail end farmers.
d) Fear of financial viability: Maintenance and operation of the system demands huge
finances. Farmers have got the apprehension that in absence of surety of finance, it would be
difficult for them to fulfill the requirement of funds for operation and maintenance. They feel
that when Government is not able to handle the system with huge money available with them,
how farmers would be able to do justice?
e) Lack of technical knowledge: Apart from the financial uncertainty, lack of technical
input is one of the inhibiting factors to take over the system. When Government, having such
qualified and senior Engineers, finds it difficult to manage the system, how untrained and
uneducated farmers would be able to take up such a highly technical operation and
maintenance work of big irrigation systems.
f) Lack of leadership: On account of limited exposure of the farmers to the rest of the world
and PIM in particular, potent leadership is lacking, rather on account of limiting knowledge.
At times so called local leaders give the negative or unclear version before other farmers
which further create misunderstanding among the farmers bringing them sometimes into a
g) Lack of publicity and training: Seeing is believing; and knowledge brings confidence in
people. This aspect is lacking and there is a constraint to adoption of PIM.
h) Demographic diversity: Due to variation in economic, ethnic, education levels etc.
diversity of farmers, PIM is taking much time in this country. To handle this aspect deep
study, analysis and solution need be found out.
i) Mega irrigation projects: World scenario gives an indication that there are smaller
projects in the countries of the world, where irrigation project transfer has taken care for PIM.
In India, there are huge projects having very large distribution system and culturable
command area sometimes more than 20 lakh hectares. Larger the project, complex would be
its maintenance, operation and management aspects and so the formation and functioning of
farmers associations for different necessary activities.
j) WUAs v/s Panchayats: In many of the areas, where WUAs have been formed, there is a
clash of interest among Panchayats and WUAs on who is to own the system, particularly
when watershed schemes are being handed over to the Panchayats.
k) PIM in efficient systems: Some of the northern States have raised apprehensions that
when their systems are running very efficiently, why not PIM should form an integral part of
the system of distribution already in operation.
Future Prospects of PIM
It has now been realised that without active participation of beneficiaries, the
irrigation systems cannot be managed efficiently. The experience shows that wherever
farmers have been actively engaged, the overall management of irrigation system and the
water use efficiency have significantly improved. The legal framework, which has been
established in various States, will ensure systematic involvement of beneficiaries in the
management of irrigation system at various levels. There has to be however, a provision for
adequate financial support to these organizations to carry out their responsibilities. The PIM
acts of various States do have provisions for the financial management of these associations.
For example acts of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh States mention that the funds of
the farmers’ organizations shall comprise of the following:
i) grants and commission received from the State Government as a share of the
water tax collected in the area of operation of the farmers’ organization;
ii) such other funds as may be granted by the state government and Central
Government for the development of the area of operation;
iii) resources raised from any financing agency for undertaking any economic
development activities in its area of operation;
iv) income from the properties and assets attached to the irrigation system;
v) fees collected by the farmers’ organization for the services rendered in better
management of the irrigation system;
vi) amounts received from any other sources; and
vii) investment of private sector in distribution and ancillary/extension services.
Rationalisation of Water Rates
In several states the water rates have not been revised for a long time. Consequently
the revenue collection is too meager to maintain the irrigation system. The Vaidyanathan
Committee (1991) of the Planning Commission on pricing of irrigation water mentioned that
on an average the revenue collection was Rs. 50 per ha as against the O&M requirement of
Rs. 250 per ha. Thus, there is a dire need for rationalization of water rates so as to meet the
expenditure on account of O&M of the system. Many of the States have already revised the
water rates.
Women’s Role in PIM
Considering the importance of women in terms of their numerical strength and the
significant contribution they make to the agriculture labour force, it is realized that they
should play an important role in the WUAs. However, as the poor status profile and
various other factors inhibit their participation, compulsory regulatory means are considered
necessary to bring in the desired gender empowerment.
Recognising the scale at which PIM programme is to be implemented in the country,
Government of India has given special emphasis on involving women in the process. In
pursuance to the provisions in National Water Policy 1987 (and also 2002) on efforts to be
made to involve farmers progressively in various aspects of management of irrigation
systems, particularly in water distribution and collection of water rates, Ministry of Water
Resources, while issuing guidelines in April, 1987, specifically emphasized the States to
consider representation of women in the WUAs at all levels. Some of the State Governments
have taken some initiative as under:
“Madhya Pradesh Sinchai Prabandhan Me Krishkon Ki Bhagidari Adhiniyam, 1999”
enacted in September, 1999 ensures all farmers owners, be it men or women to be a rightful
member of the outlet committee.
While “Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems Act” of March,
1997 has not made any specific provisions for the women to be represented in the Managing
Committees of WUAs, it is encouraging to note that quite a few women members have been
elected as Presidents and Managing committee members. Similar is the story in other states.
Despite the awareness in the matter, the marginal representation of women is not
adequate in view of the magnitude of the problem.
Importance of PIM under Restructured CADWM Programme
Under Restructured Command Area Development & Water Management Programme
more emphasis is being given to participatory approach. Under this programme, payment of
central assistance to States is linked with the formation of Water Users’ Associations. Apart
from this, farmers will have to contribute a minimum of 10% cost of the works in form of
cash / labour in three components namely, construction of field channels, reclamation of
water logged areas, and desilting and renovation of MI tanks.
Under the previous CAD Programme, a management subsidy at the rate of Rs. 275
per ha, to be paid in three years, had been insisted upon initially to encourage the formation
and functioning of Farmers’ Associations. It was increased to Rs. 500 per ha as one time
functional grant to be shared by Centre, State and farmers at the rate of Rs 225:225:50
respectively. For projects included under the restructured programme, this grant is being
further enhanced to Rs. 600/- per ha. at the rate of 270:270:60 to be shared by Centre, State
and farmers respectively. States have to bear similar costs for non – CADA projects.
Apart from normal training programme for field functionaries and farmers, action
research for PIM is now proposed to be entrusted to the WALMIs and other State/Central
Institutions. It is to ensure that farmers will be encouraged to form Water Users’ Associations
and take over the on-farm development works, equitable distribution of water, crop
management, issues on revenue collection, to maintain data and financial records. They will
also be trained regarding maintenance aspects of the OFD works. Centre will bear 75% of
cost of these software items.
PIM as A Thrust Area/Priority Item
With effect from August 2003 Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) has been
identified as one of the thrust areas for the country as a whole and its progress is being
monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.
12. 1
Issues for Policy Initiatives
a. All states to be emphasized upon the need to enact PIM acts in a definite time frame
b. Strengthening of financial resources of Farmers’ Associations to make them viable –
Revenue sharing arrangement to be considered
c. Rationalization of water charges
d. Empowering women for a greater role in Irrigation Management.
Action Taken for Implementing PIM
Ministry of Water resources has written to all the States, which have not yet enacted
relevant act to facilitate participation of stakeholders in Irrigation Management, asking them
to implement the same. An indicative Roadmap as under has also been suggested for
promotion of PIM to take a time bound action in the matter.
Indicative Roadmap:
1) Draft legislation on PIM and its approval by the State Legislature at the earliest,
preferably in the next Session of the State Assembly.
2) Based on the PIM Act, prepare necessary Rules and Regulations within two
months of the notification of the Act.
3) Organise State-wise orientation/awareness generation camps for functionaries of
Irrigation/CAD Departments and farmers.
4) Formation of Water Users’ Associations and entrust them the role and the
responsibilities assigned under the Act.
5) Fix a target of covering at least 25% of the area of the major and medium
irrigation projects under PIM during the X Plan.
6) Formation of an appropriate committee at the State level that will monitor the
progress under PIM and interact with the Central Government.
Copies of the Model Act on PIM and also the PIM Acts of a few States were sent to
the States/UTs for reference and guidance.
State Governments are being persuaded since 1985 to promote Participatory Irrigation
Management (PIM). In order to facilitate the States in formulation of the roadmap for
promotion, enactment and implementation of PIM the following action points and milestones
need be considered. Depending upon the status of the progress of implementation of the
PIM in the States the action points may be suitably modified.
To constitute a Committee within the State to study the provisions of Model Act,
PIM Acts of other States, Existing Irrigation Acts of States, Irrigation Water Cost
Recovery Structure, and other Regulations of the States.
Preparation of Draft PIM Act (if not already done) by the State. In this regard the
State may obtain help from WALMIs, NGOs or other State/Central organisations
followed by the process of approval.
Awareness and motivation of the farmers in PIM activities. WALMIs can play
major role in this activity. This activity of imparting awareness and motivating the
farmers could be done simultaneously along with the other activities of
implementation of PIM.
Preparation of draft rules and regulations in connection with identification of
jurisdiction, formation, election, role and responsibility of WUAs and Irrigation
departments/CADAs (if not already done).
The process of identification and notification of jurisdiction of each WUA, Minor
/ Distributary Committee for each Major, Medium and Minor Projects. This
should be immediately followed by holding of elections of WUAs.
Necessary steps may be taken to repair the irrigation systems to be transferred to
the farmers. In case of CAD projects, such steps are to be taken within the
framework of Restructured CADWM Programme.
Signing of MoUs between the State Govt. and the WUAs for transfer of
responsibility and the irrigation system. This could be done immediately after the
necessary completion of repairs and the formation of WUAs.
Formation of an appropriate committee at the State level that will monitor the
progress under PIM and interact with the Central Government
Monitoring and evaluation of the functioning of the system by the state Govt. for
at least three years after handing over the system to the WUAs.
State have been pursued from time to time enact relevant Acts to facilitate
participation of stakeholders in Irrigation Management, asking them to formulate a roadmap
for furthering the implementation of PIM in their States in a time bound manner and keep the
Ministry informed of the progress of the same. It is also requested to furnish the latest
information on the status of implementation of PIM / formation of Water Users’ Associations
in their States.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Regular monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the WUAs is necessary for
development of the PIM programme in the country. The success and failure of the WUAs at
one place could provide useful lessons and enable taking up of corrective steps in formation
and sustainability of WUAs at other places. The performance has to be justified against the
objectives laid down and the financial viability.
States have to constitute a State level committee for monitoring of the
implementation of the PIM programme. WALMIs can play an important role in
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the PIM programme. Recently Central Water
Commission has been entrusted with coordination and monitoring of implementation of PIM
in the States/UTs at the Central level.
MoWR has written to all the States and UTs, which are yet to take action to enact
legislation on PIM, asking them to take necessary time bound action for enacting necessary
legislation for PIM.
As per the guidelines under the restructured CADWM Programme, State level
committees have to be formed for review and monitoring of the CAD projects under the
programme. These committees have to have representation from Water Users’ Associations
at project level.
Functions of farmers’ organisations at different levels
1. Water Users’ Association
The Water Users’ Association shall perform the following functions namely:
to prepare and implement a warabandi schedule for each irrigation season,
consistent with the operational plan, based upon the entitlement, area, soil and
cropping pattern as approved by the distributary committee, or as the case may be,
the project committee;
to prepare a plan for the maintenance of irrigation system in the area of its
operation at the end of each crop season and carry out the maintenance works of
both distributary system and minor and field drains in its area of operation with
the funds of the association from time to time;
to regulate the use of water among the various pipe outlets under its area of
operation according to the warabandi schedule of the system;
to promote economy in the use of water allocated;
to assist the revenue department in the preparation of demand and collection of
water rates;
to maintain a register of landholders as published by the revenue department;
to prepare and maintain a register of co-opted members;
to prepare and maintain an inventory of the irrigation system within the area of
to monitor flow of water for irrigation;
to resolve the disputes, if any, between the members and water users in its area of
to raise resources;
to maintain accounts;
to cause annual audit of its accounts;
to assist in the conduct of elections to the managing committee;
to maintain other records as may be prescribed;
to abide by the decisions of the distributory and project committees;
to conduct general body meetings as may be prescribed;
to encourage avenue plantation on canal bunds and tank bunds by leasing such
to conduct regular water budgeting and also to conduct periodical social audit, as
may be prescribed;
to encourage modernization of agriculture in its area of operation; and
to maintain the feeder channels of minor irrigation tanks by the respective water
users associations, in the manner prescribed;
2. Distributary Committee:
The distributary committee shall perform the following functions namely:
to prepare an operational plan based on its entitlement, area, soil, cropping pattern
at the beginning of each irrigation season, consistent with the operational plan
prepared by the project committee;
to prepare a plan for the maintenance of both distributaries and medium drains
within its area of operation at the end of each crop seasons and execute the
maintenance works with the funds of the committee from time to time.
to regulate the use of water among the various water users associations under its
area of operation;
to resolve disputes, if any, between the water users associations in its area of
to maintain a register of water users associations in its area of operation;
maintain an inventory of the irrigation system in the area of its operation,
including drains;
to promote economy in the use of water allocated;
to maintain accounts;
to cause annual audit;
to maintain other records as may be prescribed;
to monitor the flow of water for irrigation;
to conduct general body meetings as may be prescribed;
to abide by the decisions of the project committee;
to cause regular water budgeting and also the periodical social audit as may be
to assist in the conduct of elections to the managing committee;
to encourage avenue plantations in its area of operation; and
to encourage modernisation of agriculture in its area of operation.
3. Project Committee:
The project committee shall perform the following functions namely:
to approve an operational plan based on its entitlement, area, soil, cropping
pattern as prepared by the competent authority in respect of the entire project area
at the beginning of each irrigation season;
to approve a plan for the maintenance of irrigation system including the major
drains within its area of operation at the end of each crop season and execute the
maintenance work with the funds of the committee from time to time;
to maintain a list of the distributory committees and water users’ associations in
its area of operation;
to maintain an inventory of the distributary and drainage systems in its area of
to resolve disputes if any, between the distributory committees;
to promote economy in the use of water;
to maintain accounts;
to cause annual audit of its accounts;
to maintain other records as may be prescribed;
to conduct general body meetings as may be prescribed;
to cause regular water budgeting and also the periodical social audit as may be
to encourage avenue plantation in its area of operation; and
to encourage modernization of agriculture in its area of operation.
Status of implementation of PIM in the States that have responded to the
initiative taken by the MoWR as the Priority/Thrust Area item:
Some States have responded to the initiative taken by the MoWR in implementing the
Priority / Thrust Area item of the Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). A brief of the
status is given below.
Andhra Pradesh: Irrigation and CAD Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh
has given the status of implementation of PIM/WUAs in Andhra Pradesh. Salient features of
implementation are as follows.
The Andhra Pradesh Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems (APFMIS) Act was
enacted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1997 to promote farmers
participation in Irrigation Management.
It was informed that 10748 WUAs are constituted in Major, Medium and Minor
irrigation sectors covering an area of 41.69 lakh ha. WUAs in the Minor irrigation sector are
formed to such tanks whose ayacut is more than 100 acres. WUAs have been delineated and
elections to the same have been completed.
In order to disseminate technical know-how on Agriculture & Irrigation, Presidents
of WUAs and Territorial Constituency members have been imparted training on the
provisions of the APFMIS Act, execution of maintenance works, water regulation,
maintenance of records, capacity building, on agricultural aspects etc.
Conferences are held regularly, to create awareness among WUAs about their role in
PIM, at district/region/State level. These conferences have helped the WUAs to ventilate
their problems and get solutions for some of their problems.
Evaluation studies have been conducted at regular intervals and the performance of
the Farmers Organisations is being monitored every year.
Performance of the Farmers Organisations in the past five years was studied at
various levels, which suggested certain changes in the set up of the WUAs to make them
more transparent and accountable to the water users. Amendments to the Act are brought out
through Act 7 of 2003 in April 2003.
Arunachal Pradesh: The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has informed in
November 2006 that their PIM Act is in drafting stage and WUAs to whom the CADWM
works have been handed over will come under the purview of the Act after its enactment. So
far 43 WUAs covering an area of 9020 ha have been formed in the State.
Bihar: Water Resources Department, Government of Bihar informed that that till
date 80 WUCs covering an area of 2.0947 lakh ha. have been formed and the system has
been handed over to these WUCs.
Gujarat: The Gujarat Government had enacted the Gujarat Water Users
Participatory Irrigation Management Act, 2007. Gujarat has been giving high priority to PIM
and has been systematically promoting it by facilitating through Government resolutions
from time to time since 1980s. So far, 1834 number of WUAs covering an area of 4.8664
lakh ha. A High Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary has been
set up in 1994 to consider the policy issues relating
to Participatory Irrigation
Management and also constituted a Steering Committee for implementation of PIM.
Maharashtra: Secretary (CAD), Govt. of Maharashtra has informed the following.
The Govt. of Maharashtra initiated the formation of Water Users’ Associations in the
year 1990. Further, in the year 2001 Govt. of Maharashtra has made it obligatory to make
farmers participation in irrigation management and to hand over irrigation systems to WUAs
by the end of year 2002-03. In the year 2005 Maharashtra Government enacted the
Maharashtra Management of Irrigation System by Farmers Act, 2005. They have formed
2815 WUAs covering an area of 11.0242 lakh ha.
One-day seminars have been organised over the entire State at seven locations to
create awareness amongst irrigation beneficiaries with regard to formation of WUAs.
Karnataka: Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Government
of Karnataka has informed that they are taking some positive steps in the direction of
implementation of PIM.
Some details of implementation of PIM in Karnataka and formation of Water Users
Associations/Societies formed have been furnished. In the Project-wise progress on PIM, it
is mentioned that a total of 2662 Water Users’ Cooperative Societies (WUCS) have been
registered covering an area of 13.6307 lakh ha.
Government of Karnataka has amended the Irrigation Rules called the Karnataka
Irrigation (Levy of Water Rates) (Amendment) Rules, 2002, revising crop-wise water rates,
through a notification in October 2002.
Haryana: The Government of Haryana has issued model bye laws for Water Users
Associations and in order to provide legal status to WUAs amendment of Haryana Canal and
Drainage Act, 1974 has been submitted for approval of the Government.
A committee for submission of a proposal for framing Participatory Irrigation
Management Act along the lines as enacted by other States and Model Act of MoWR has
been constituted in Command Area Development Authority. After the in depth study and
discussions the proposal will be submitted by the Administrator, CADA to the Government
of Haryana for approval.
State-wise orientation/awareness generation camps for functionaries of
irrigation/CAD Department, farmers and NGOs are already being held by the Haryana
Irrigation Management Institute, Kurukshetra.
Guidelines for formation of Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) were issued as early
as in the year 2000 and more than 2800 WUAs covering an area of 2.00 lakh has. have
already been formed in Haryana. Steps are being taken to cover maximum area of various
irrigation projects under PIM.
A Core Group on PIM under the Chairmanship of Chief Engineer/Co-ordination
already exists in Haryana Irrigation Department to sustain the concept of PIM at watercourse
level, to take PIM to higher hydrological levels i.e. minor and distributories and to monitor
and evaluate this concept in the field.
The State of Haryana is keen to implement the concept of PIM as per the spirit of the
National Water Policy and has taken adequate steps in this direction.
Kerala: The Principal Secretary to the Government of Kerala, Water Resources
(CAD) Department has informed that the ‘Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Bill
2003’ has been passed by Kerala Legislative Assembly. The Bill has a general provision for
implementation of PIM in Kerala.
Water Resources (CAD) Department has informed that, based on the joint study by
CWRDM and CADA on PIM, pilot projects have been taken up in Olathanni Branch Canal of
Neyyar Project and Kuthanur Branch Canal of Malampuzha Irrigation Project. These pilot
projects are implemented by CWRDM in association with Water Resources Department,
CADA and Agriculture Department. Activities of the project are carried out through five
different phases i.e. Preparation, Organisation, Rehabilitation, Capacity Building and Turnover.
Status as per the records is as follows:
Kerala Command Area Development Act, 1986 provides for three-tier Water Users’
Associations i.e. Beneficiary Farmers’ Associations at the outlet levels, Canal Committees
and Project Level Committees. So far, 4163 Beneficiary Farmers’ Associations (covering
area of 1.7489 lakh ha), 99 Canal Committees, covering an area of 2.55 lakh ha. and 9 Project
Level Committees have been constituted. A High Level Working Group under the
Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary has been set up to consider the policy issues on
Participatory Irrigation Management in 1997. A state level conference on Participatory
Irrigation Management was held in February, 1996 and during 1996-97 three project level
conferences have been held to create awareness on Participatory Irrigation Management at
grass root levels.
Madhya Pradesh: Director PIM & PM, ICEF Project, WRD, Bhopal, M.P. has sent
a note on PIM in Madhya Pradesh. They have also sent a copy of “Madhya Pradesh Sinchai
Prabandhan Me Krishako ki Bhagidari Adhiniyam – 1999” including amendments up to June
It was informed that a total of 1687 Water Users’ Associations have been formed as
on March 2004 under the minor, medium and major irrigation projects covering an area of
16.92 lakh ha. 90 Distributary Committees and 76 Project Committees have also been
formed. Elections of Farmers Organisations have been conducted.
Training was imparted to officials of WRD, Presidents and competent authorities of
WUAs, and field functionaries by WALMI and M.P. Administrative Academy as a part of
the capacity building. Workshops and conferences were held at district level, where dialogue
and interactions were held with the WUAs Presidents/members, Sub-Engineers concerned
etc. Regional level and State level conferences were also held for the Presidents, Members
and competent authorities.
U.T. of Lakshadweep: Administration of the U.T. of Lakshadweep has informed
that there is no river, canal, waterfall, stream etc. in Lakshadweep. The entire cultivable area
is densely populated with coconut trees, which is rain fed. The concept of Participatory
Irrigation Management is therefore not relevant to Lakshadweep.
Rajasthan: Government of Rajasthan has informed the following:
PIM is a prime requirement in the World Bank aided Project namely Rajasthan Water
Sector Restructuring Project (RWSRP). Accordingly, formation of WUAs and distributory
committees has been completed in 91 Irrigation Schemes under the Project following the
procedure laid in the Rajasthan Farmers Participation in Management of Irrigation Systems
(RFPMIS) Act 2000 & RFPMIS Rules, 2002. WUAs have been formed in 91 irrigation
systems (Major, Medium and Minor) up to February 2004, under the World Bank aided
Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project. 1130 WUAs (9.8307 lakh ha.), 72
Distributory Committees and 2 Project Committees have been formed. Elections of 506
WUAs, 72 DCs and 2 PCs have been completed.
Rehabilitation of irrigation systems under the Project is in progress. Rehabilitation
work of small channels having discharge less than 10 cusecs is to be carried out by the
WUAs and that of other channels is being done by Irrigation Department. The system is
proposed to be transferred to WUAs as soon as the rehabilitation work is completed, which
is expected within two to three years. With this about 17% of total CCA of the State will
come under PIM.
Schemes not included in RWSRP are being identified where PIM can be
implemented with minimal of canal rehabilitation works. After identification of such
schemes, efforts shall be made to generate awareness in the farmers regarding formation of
WUAs citing examples of successful WUAs, which have started functioning. Subsequently,
these schemes shall be brought under the ambit of RFPMIS-2000 and more and more
command area covered under PIM to achieve the target during the X Five Year Plan.
A two-day workshop was conducted at IMTI Kota in June 2003 for the DC
presidents and selected WUAs presidents, and discussions were held on various issues of
PIM and efforts were made to solve the problems of DCs and WUAs presidents.
Regular meetings were held by the officials of Irrigation Department with the
Farmers Organisations to resolve technical and administrative problems of Farmers
Mass awareness and capacity building trainings for members of Managing
Committees of WUAs have been held and refresher courses for maintenance of records are
in progress.
Chandigarh: Chief Engineer, U.T. Chandigarh has informed that the information
with regard to major and medium irrigation projects may be considered as NIL. And it was
stated that with regard to amendment to irrigation Act for participatory irrigation
management, Public Health wing of Engineering Department, UT, Chandigarh is dealing
minor irrigation scheme only.
Chhattisgarh: State of Chhattisgarh has enacted Chhattisgarh Sinchai Prabandhan
Me Krishako ki Bhagidari Adhiniyam – 2006. A total of 1324 WUAs covering an area of
12.45 lakh ha. have been formed in the State.
Himachal Pradesh: The Government of Himachal Pradesh has reported that draft
PIM Bill is under finalization. So far 876 KVS/WUAs covering an area of35.00 have been
formed in the State. It is reported that the participation of women in management of WUAs
is insignificant at present.
Orissa: Orissa has enacted “The Orissa Pani Panchayat Act 2002 & Rules 2003”. Pani
Panchayat programme was launched in the State in September 2000 with a view to cover an
ayacut of 17.71 lakh hectares up to the end of 2005 in major, medium, minor and lift
irrigation projects.
So far, 18989 Pani Panchayat’s/WUAs have been formed and registered covering an
ayacut of 16.926 lakh hectares and irrigation management has been transferred over to 8318
PPs/ WUAs covering an ayacut of 5.97 lakh hectares.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, UT: Administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union
Territory has informed that there are no major or medium irrigation projects in the Union
Territory except one Damanganga Reservoir Project which is a common venture of Govt. of
Gujaart, Administration of Daman and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. This project was executed
by the Govt. of Gujarat and all the minor, sub-minor and distributary canals falling under the
U.T have been handed over to the U.T. Administration by the Govt. of Gujarat. All major
canals falling in the U.T. are being looked after by the Govt. of Gujarat authority.
However, it is informed by the U.T. Administration that necessary
orientation/awareness generation camps for functionaries of Irrigation/Agriculture
department and farmers will be organised in due course of time. Required field channels
have already been constructed and handed over to respective farmers. Minors, sub-minors
and distributaries are managed by the department. Maintenance of the field channels is being
done by farmers. The present set up is functioning satisfactorily. And it is also mentioned
that the territory being predominantly of Adivasi population, it may not be advisable to
interfere with the existing arrangement.
Tamil Nadu: Water Resources Organisation of PWD is operating and maintaining
irrigation projects catering to about 21.0 lakh hectares of irrigated area spread over 28
districts. With the launching of Water Resources Consolidation Project in 1995-96 funded
by the World Bank, an area of about 7.0 lakh hectares out of 21.0 lakh hectares was
rehabilitated and about 1641 Farmers Associations (covering 8.4094 lakh ha.) formed under
Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975. Subsequently, to provide necessary legal
support for effective functioning of the Farmers Associations, the Government of Tamil
Nadu have enacted the “Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Management of Irrigation Systems Act,
2000”. Necessary rules for implementation of the Act were framed and the Act had been
brought into force in all 21.0 lakh ha. of area.
However, the Government has decided to implement this Act first in the area of 7.0
lakh ha. rehabilitated under Water Resources Consolidation Project in order to expedite the
realisation of increase in agricultural productivity and achievement of effective irrigation
water utilisation.
So far, 1310 WUAs, covering an area of 7.88 lakh ha, have been formed and the
system has been handed over to these WUAs after signing MoUs.
Government of Nagaland has informed that Participatory Irrigation
Management (PIM) Act is in drafting stage vide letter no. IRR/FC/CAD-8/2006 dt. Jan,
2008. It is reported that 23 numbers of WUAs have been formed covering an area of 3150
ha. under two CAD projects. The State Govt. has informed that the WUAs already formed
will be brought under the purview of the act after its enactment.
Uttaranchal: Government of Uttaranchal has informed that their State has taken
several steps in furthering the speedy implementation of the programme. A few of them are:
i. A decision has been taken for devolution of rights and duties with respect to the
irrigation projects/assets, though in a phased manner, to the Users’ Associations for their
further management. A time bound transfer of the completed projects to the User Groups
is being followed up.
ii. In the course of formulating new projects, particularly in minor irrigation sector where
the projects have less catchment area, major emphasis is given on community owned and
run projects, prior formation of User groups and their maximum involvement in
Assam: Irrigation Department, Government of Assam has informed that keeping in
line with the National Water Policy, the Irrigation Department has initiated action to the turn
over the system. But due to paucity of funds the schemes could not be renovated to proper
state before handing over to WUAs.
The Assam Government has passed the Assam Irrigation Water Users Bill 2004. So
far, 720 WUAs covering an area of 47040 ha. have been formed.
Manipur: Govt of Manipur has in a Gazette notification dt 8th Jan,2008 stated
thatWUAs to whom projects under CADWM would be handed over would be brought
under the purview of PIM Act after its enactment. 73 WUAs formed covering area of 49.27
Meghalaya: Government of Meghalaya informed that they have constituted a
Committee under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary, Agriculture Department to
facilitate decision-making relating to the PIM in the State. Main functions of the Committee
are to monitor and review the progress of implementation of PIM, formulate action plan to
ensure participation of farmers, to study the manner of empowering the WUAs and to decide
water charges, and to make recommendations to the Government of India. It has been
informed that 151 FA/WUAs are registered covering an area of 18.75 th. ha in the State
under the Meghalaya Society Registration Act XII of 1983. A draft MoU to be signed
between the Department and the WUA is under process for obtaining Government’s
approval. There is no existing Irrigation Act in the State and hence water rates could not be
collected from the beneficiaries of irrigation projects. EE s have been asked to work out
probable cost of O&M of irrigation projects so as to arrive at an acceptable water rate.
Sikkim: The Government of Sikkim has intimated that formation of WUAs and
enactment of PIM is under process.
Government of Tripura has published guidelines for handing over
irrigation schemes to Panchayats for operation, maintenance and collection of water charges
for irrigation schemes. Notification in this respect has been issued by the State.
Goa: Government of Goa has enacted “The Goa Command Area Development Act
1997 (Goa Act 27 of 1997)” to implement PIM in the State. In the commands of Anjunam
and Salauli Irrigation Projects, which are on going, CAD Projects 57 numbers of WUAs
covering an area of 7010 hectares have been formed.
Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh Area Development Act, 1976 provides for formation of
farmers’ associations at the outlet level to be called Chak Sabha. A pilot project “Basarahiya
Water Cooperative Society” was attempted in the command of Sharda Sahayak. A High
Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary was constituted during
1996 to formulate policy issues and guidelines for the implementation of Participatory
Irrigation Management in the State. Subsequently the Uttar Pradesh Government has framed
draft UP Participatory Irrigation Management Act which when passed will cover all the
WUAs already formed. So far, 245 WUAs covering an area of 1.21 lakh ha. have been
formed. The State had conducted a state level conference during February, 1996 at Lucknow
to give thrust to the programme. Five project level conferences during 1996-97 and two
project level conferences during 1997-98 were conducted to create awareness among officials
as well as farmers at grass root level.
West Bengal: Beneficiary committees have been constituted but do not have any
legal back up. 10,000 such committees are working in the State but functional grants are not
being given to them.
PUNJAB The Punjab Govt. has informed that since they feel that a separate PIM Act is
not needed action is being initiated to amend the Northern Canal and Drainage act VIII of
1873 to enable smooth functioning of WUAs. So far 957 WUAs covering an area of 1.17
lakh hectares have been formed.
J&K : 39 WUAs formed covering area of 2.758 th.ha. PIM is yet to be enacted.
Mizoram: 110 WUAs formed covering area of 14.00 th.ha. PIM is yet to be enacted.
D:\Baldeep\PIM\Status of PIM updated upto June 2013.doc