Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Water Resources
09-December-2010 14:15 IST
Decrease in irrigation Potential
The irrigation potential (cumulative) created in the country has been increasing over the years

The irrigation potential (cumulative) created in the country has been increasing over the years. The irrigation potential created upto the beginning of the First Five Year Plan was about 22.6 million hectares which increased to about 102.7 million hectares at the end of the X Plan. Creation of irrigation potential of about 5.5 million hectares has been reported during the first 3 years of the XI Plan i.e. during 2007-08 to 2009-10. However, during the Eighth Five Year Plan (1992-97) there was relatively lesser rate of creation of irrigation potential as compared to the VIIth Plan. One of the reasons for this decline was that a large number of river valley projects, both multi-purpose and irrigation, spilled over from plan to plan period, mainly because of financial constraints being faced by the State Governments. Government of India therefore introduced the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in the year 1996 with a view to providing financial assistance to States to complete various ongoing irrigation projects in the country. Since its formulation, the terms of the programme have been widened and liberalized over time. Government of India also provides assistance to the State


Governments under the schemes “Repair Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies” and “Command Area Development and Water Management” with the objective of stabilization and full utilization of created facilities. The rate of creation of irrigation potential in successive Plans is  indicates in the following table.



Irrigation Potential Created in million hectare per year

VII Plan                  (1985-1990)


Annual Plans          (1990-1992)


VIII Plan                (1992-1997)


IX Plan                   (1997-2002)


X Plan                     (2002-2007)


XI  Plan        (first three years i.e. from 2007-2010)



This information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources, Shri Vincent H. Pala in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.