THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The effective implementation of the Water Policy has started paying rich dividends in the context of food security which is the latest mantra of the country.Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran said in an article released to the press here recently that because of the better management of reservoirs it was possible to provide irrigation from small projects to 8308.91 hectares of land in 2008-09 in the place of 6,820 hectares the previous year in spite of shortage of 184 mm in rainfall during the period in question.
The State was able to make enviable achievements in the area of lift irrigation which involved supply of water for irrigation in an efficient manner at low cost. The government had earmarked a sum of Rs.104 crore in 2009-10 under the Rejuvenation of Lift Irrigation Schemes (RELIS) for replacing motors and ancillary equipment which were over 50 years old. Administrative sanction was given last year for the rejuvenation of seven schemes in Malabar and 209 schemes in the northern districts at a cost of Rs.52.76 crore. Ernakulam had the largest number of lift irrigation schemes in the State and they played a major role in the agricultural irrigation of the district. The Minister said the biggest problem of agricultural irrigation schemes was the failure to undertake their maintenance and repair work from time to time. But this situation changed with the thrust given on the strengthening of existing projects in the Water Policy.