Hyderabad: A Central team that visited the State recently as part of the 6th Census of minor irrigation schemes and water bodies all over the country has decided to recommend replication of the Telangana model of tank rejuvenation as well as geospatial database, both components of Mission Kakatiya, in other States.
The team headed by S M Mahajan, Additional Director General, Ministry of Water Resources was highly appreciative of the results achieved by the State in rejuvenation of minor irrigation sources under Mission Kakatiya – one of the flagship programmes being implemented by the State government, Command Area Development Authority ( CADA) Commissioner Dr G Malsur told Telangana Today.
The State’s initiative in building an extensive geospatial database pertaining to its irrigation sources and systems was also commended by the team members. States that are yet to make a beginning in this direction need to study the TS experiment, the Central team members said.
The database of the State was more in conformity with the kind of information sought to be gathered for “Rationalization of Minor Irrigation Statistics (RMIS),” a sub-scheme under the Centrally-Sponsored ‘Irrigation Census’. This census is conducted covering irrigation structures all over the country on the quinquennial basis for building a sound and reliable database.
The State is ready with database following geo-tagging of 44,700 tanks. Sanitisation of the data has been undertaken by the CADA. Another 1,100 tanks and lakes are yet to be covered as part of the massive exercise, Dr Malsur said, adding that the entire exercise will be completed by April 20.
It is aimed at providing the State with an exhaustive verifiable tank database enabling it to have effective planning. “The Central Minor Irrigation Census team was impressed with the database and it wanted to replicate the same in other parts of the country”, he said. As part of the exercise, every tank is assigned a unique geo-ID based on its latitude and longitude, thus eliminating duplication of work.
Tanks are ranked based on various attributes like whether they fall in the natural drainage channels, whether they can hold water, size of the tank, which would help officials to identify the most viable tanks. This would help in prioritising rehabilitation work. Facilitating a social audit, it is proposed to open the application to the public, where citizens could give feedback on the status of the tank, repairs etc through photos and text messages.
He said the ayacut map of all the geo-tagged tanks are being digitised and uploaded. This enables the department to estimate the area irrigated, crops grown etc for a given tank for every season using satellite imagery. He explained further that the Irrigation Department has partnered with IIIT-Hyderabad in the light of Mission Kakatiya for the creation of a comprehensive Lake Management and Monitoring System. This system used state-of-the-art remote sensing technology and GIS to create a geospatial database (geo-tagging) of all the tanks.
The Central team also commended the efforts put in by the State in developing the Lake Management and Monitoring System adopting the 3 key model to geo-tag tanks and to prioritize the rehabilitation process. The 3 key model was built by extracting lake body information from the Survey Of India topo sheets, using satellite images for the last 20 years to identify the presence of water in the tanks and adopting digital elevation model to identify sinks and natural drainage channels.