With monsoon rainfall predicted to be deficient this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the “challenge” should be converted into an “opportunity” for looking at other avenues of irrigation as he pitched for boosting the creation of farm ponds as a short-term effort.
Chairing a meeting in the capital to review the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, he pressed for quick adoption of a multi-pronged strategy to augment the country’s irrigation network.
With regard to the forecast by the meteorogical department about deficient monsoon rainfall this year, Modi exhorted officials to treat the “challenge of below-normal rainfall as an opportunity”, a PMO statement said.
He sought a relook at the administrative mechanisms, financial arrangements and technology applications in the irrigation sector, to result in a shorter, more comprehensive decision-making process, which could deliver quick results for the farmers.
The Prime Minister pitched for an intensive short-term effort to boost the creation of farm ponds across the country. The irrigation plans need to be worked out at the district level, and young officers from the civil services should be asked to propose district-level irrigation plans, Modi said.
Expansion of irrigation has to be linked with a comprehensive evaluation of cropping patterns across states, as well as a judicious mix of modern and micro irrigation systems such as drip and sprinkler irrigation, he said.
While calling for a thorough study of various traditional irrigation methods across the country, the Prime Minister said young researchers from universities should be involved in irrigation-policy planning.