Water management prog goes awry

IMPHAL, Feb 27: The Command Area Development Department (CADD) is unable to properly monitor the command area development and water management pro-jects.
Speaking to media persons in the course of the ongoing series of press conferences organised by DIPR at its Moirangkhom complex today, CADD Additional Chief Engineer Suresh Singh Ningombam admitted that the department is unable to properly monitor the command area development and water management projects due to shortage of manpower.
Suresh said that the department has been implemen- ting five projects namely cluster of 213 MI schemes under Imphal East, Imphal West and Churachandpur; cluster of 125 MI schemes under Thoubal, Ukhrul and Chandel; cluster of 169 MI schemes under Bishnupur, Tamenglong and Senapati; Thoubal Multipurpose Project (Phase III) and Dolaithabi Barrage project.
The total culturable command area which should be brought under the cluster of 213 MI schemes under Imphal East, Imphal West and Churachandpur is 9643 hectares. Out of this, 1448 hectares have been benefited while the area targeted during 2017-18 is 4845 hectares.
The total culturable command area which should be brought under the cluster of 125 schemes under Thoubal, Ukhrul and Chandel is 9043 hectares out of which 1118 hectares have been already brought under the scheme.
The department has set a target of bringing another 5007 hectares under the scheme within the current financial year, Suresh said.
The total cultural command area which would be brought under the cluster of 169 MI schemes under Bishnupur, Tamenglong and Senapati is 8889 hectares out of which 1087 hectares have been already brought under the scheme, and the department has been working to bring another 4851 hectares under the scheme within the current financial year. Works on Thoubal Multipurpose Project (Phase III) and Dolaithabi Barrage Project whose targeted cultural command areas are 16536 hectares and 5500 hectares will begin this financial year, Suresh said.
There is an urgent need to strengthen the department so that it can effectively monitor different projects. The department is unable to even publish data about the increased area brought under irrigation due to acute shortage of manpower, he said. The department is also unable to take up new projects after completing projects already taken up.
With the Government now giving more attention to Thoubal Multipurpose Project (Phase III) and Dolaithabi Barrage Project, all the existing staff will be deputed to the two projects at the cost of other projects. One primary responsibility of CADD is management of water diverted to paddy fields. Of the many projects taken up to divert water to paddy fields, some are successfully providing water to paddy fields while some others have failed to deliver, confided the Additional Chief Engineer.

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