Permanent institutional mechanisms should be created to ensure that benefits accruing from the Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water-Bodies Restoration and Management (IAMWARM) continued even after the project's completion, said M.Moorthy, Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Water Resources Organisation, Tiruchi region, here on Tuesday.

An advantage of this World Bank-funded project has been the convergence of various line departments, including Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, Horticulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

All line departments have come together to work for the upliftment and welfare of the society at the sub-basin level.

This has brought about an attitudinal change as engineers have got an opportunity to serve as social engineers too, Mr.Moorthy said inaugurating a regional level convergence workshop to discuss ways to carry forward the benefits of the IAMWARM programme.

The workshop was organised by Water Resources Organisation and the Multi Disciplinary Project Unit (MDPU).

The National Water Policy 2002 lays emphasis on integrated resource development and management for optimal and sustainable utilisation of available surface and ground water.

Creation of well-developed information system, use of traditional methods of water conservation, non-conventional methods for water utilisation and demand management have been recognised as important inputs in the revised policy.

It also stresses on project planning and a participatory approach with stake holders.

IAMWARMhas been implemented in 63 sub-basins with an assistance of Rs.2,318 crore.

Of these, eight sub-basins – Upper Vellar, Pambar (part), South Vellar, Anaivari Odai, Chennai, Agniyar, Ambuliyar and Swethanadi – were in the Tiruchi region.

About 919 tanks, 202 anicuts and supply channels for a length of 1272.57 km were being renovated over the last three years.

About 630 water users associations have also been formed. Irrigation for about 66,037 hectares would be stabilised on completion of the project work, Mr.Moorthy said.