Lift irrigation scheme with sprinkler system to be inaugurated tomorrow

Nearly 25,000 acres of dryland in Shiggaon, Savanur and Hanagal taluks of Haveri district are all set to be irrigated by sprinkler irrigation system with the commissioning of the Shiggaon Lift Irrigation Scheme on Friday.

The government will be responsible for the maintenance of the sprinkler systems installed on farmland for two years.

Under the Shiggaon Lift Irrigation Scheme with Sprinkler Irrigation System, 1.5 tmcft of water will be diverted from a diversion weir constructed across the Varada, near Halasur village, in Savanur taluk (where the Varada joins the Dharma) and lifted to irrigate 9,900 ha (24,463 acres) of land at higher altitudes.

Under the project, 1.36 tmcft of water will be utilised for irrigation and 0.14 tmcft for pumping water to five minor irrigation tanks. The total cost of the project is Rs. 238 crore and the administrative approval for the project was given in January 2009.

30 villages

When the project is fully commissioned, it is expected to irrigate 4,945 ha of land in Shiggaon taluk, 2,575 ha in Savanur taluk and 2,380 ha in Hanagal taluk, covering 30 villages in all. Also, five minor irrigation tanks in the surrounding areas will be filled.

Nearly 90 per cent of the work has been completed so far. The remaining work pertains to installing overhead sprinklers on over 2,000 acres of land in Hanagal taluk. The work has been delayed as sugarcane crop on these farmlands is yet to be harvested.

The project will be formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Friday at Bankapur.

‘A first’

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai told The Hindu over phone from Bankapur, “While individual farmers have had sprinkler irrigation system since several decades, such controlled sprinkler irrigation on a large scale, aided by a lift irrigation scheme, is being done for the first time. About 2.6 tmcft of water is required to irrigate 25,000 acres under a conventional scheme. By sprinkler irrigation system, only 0.9 tmcft of water will be required to irrigate 25,000 acres.”

As it was controlled irrigation, a specific crop pattern could also be maintained and that would give scope for development of agro industries in the neighbourhood, he said, and added that this scheme was modelled on an Israeli sprinkler irrigation system.

Assistant Executive Engineer of Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd. Bhimappa B. Battur said the nigam, through the contractor, would maintain the system for the next two years. Farmers in the region had been briefed about the crop pattern that they need to follow, he said.

“Soon after the commissioning, farmers in 23 villages will be able to use the facility. The remaining seven villages will be covered soon. After two years, maintenance of the system will be handed over to the users’ committee.”

Mr. Battur said that as part of the project, a barrage would be constructed across the Varada at a cost of Rs. 31 crore. The work would begin soon.

How it works

The total area to be irrigated (9,900 hectares) has been divided into 119 blocks of about 80 to 85 ha. Each block has been provided with a portable overhead sprinkler irrigation system connected to a sump. Water from the 119 sumps will supplied to 10,912 sprinklers (through 10- hp pumps) to irrigate 154.69 ha in one hour. The sprinkler irrigation system will be operated for 16 hours a day so as to cover an area of 2,475 ha. And in four days, 9,900 ha will be irrigated. The cycle will start again on the fifth day.

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