Government on Thursday said up to two million tonnes of foodgrains production get lost every year in the country due to the problem of waterlogging.
“A recent study conducted by the World Bank showed that India loses 1.2 to 2 million tonnes of foodgrains production every year due to waterlogging,” Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti told Lok Sabha.
Quoting a study conducted by the Central Water Commission (CWC), Bharti said out of the total command area of 88895.62 thousand hectares being served by major and medium irrigation projects, an area of 1719.279 thousand hectares was waterlogged. Perennial waterlogging covers 173.15 thousand hectares whereas seasonal waterlogging covers 1546.13 thousand hectares, she said during Question Hour.
The Minister said the Central government releases assistance to the states against their proposals for reclaimation of waterlogged areas in irrigation commands covered under command area development and water management programme and an area of about 78 thousand hectares has been reclaimed by the states under the programme.
Replying to a supplementary question, Bharti said government will try to use the labourers availing the MGNREGA scheme for the proper utilisation of their work to clear waterlogged areas.
The Minister said the Central government gives financial assistance up to Rs 25,000 per hectare to farmers facing the waterlogging problem in their agricultural land with the help of state governments.
She said in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the problem of waterlogging is acute and if the state governments submit proper schemes to solve the problem, the Centre will provide all assistance.