Irrigation department revamp on cards to boost efficiency

Irrigation Department work has increased with many projects being taken up. A view of the Palamuru-Rangareddy project canal in Nagarkurnool district.

Irrigation Department work has increased with many projects being taken up. A view of the Palamuru-Rangareddy project canal in Nagarkurnool district.   | Photo Credit: File photo

Exercise to prepare inventory of all irrigation sources, move to strengthen rythu samanvaya samastha

As part of government’s plans to reorganise the Irrigation department including change of its nomenclature as water resources, a hectic exercise has been taken up by the department to prepare an inventory of all irrigation sources – major, medium and minor irrigation projects, lakes and minor irrigation tanks — staff and other assets/properties such as buildings, equipment and machinery.

A couple of meetings for the department’s engineers till Superintending Engineer level have also been organised already as part of the exercise to reorganise the department with an objective to improve its efficiency and optimise the resources. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has been supervising the exercise by holding meetings with senior engineers periodically.

During his recent visit to Kaleshwaram project, the Chief Minister spoke about reorganisation of the department again and was understood to have suggested the authorities to divide it into 11 circles. “Proper and clear division of functional units and responsibilities has become more important in the wake of several major irrigation projects, mostly lifts, coming up in the State including Kaleshwaram, Palamuru-Rangareddy, Pranahitha, Kanthanpally, Devadula and others,” a senior engineers retired recently in the capacity of Chief Engineer said.

“Even after bifurcation of the combined Andhra Pradesh, Irrigation department network is huge with 5 engineers-in-chief, 20 chief engineers, 46 superintending engineers, nearly 200 executive engineers, over 600 deputy executive engineers and over 1,600 assistant executive engineers beside other technical and administrative staff and proper work division is necessary to optimise their efficiency,” another senior engineers working as an executive engineer explained.

It is learnt that all the superintending engineers at circle level have been told to hold meeting with all engineers in their circles on February 17 to prepare an inventory so that they could review the details provided in the prescribed format on February 19. According to officials, a State-level review is likely to be held here on February 20 by Principal Secretary Rajath Kumar.

The exercise for reorganising the department is also undertaking assessment of requirement of assistant executive engineers (civil, mechanical and electrical), work inspector, lashkars, electricians, data entry operators, mechanics for operation and maintenance of canals and pump houses. “Further, there’s a proposal to explore the possibility of mobilising financial resources without burden on farmers — seeking share in market cess since the department is providing irrigation facility,” another senior engineer stated.

Leasing of unused lands of the department near towns and cities for commercial purposes, leasing water bodies to promote water sports and tourism and revision of cess from industrial water supply among other means. Besides, the reorganisation would also include operation and maintenance policy for projects, canals and lifts, dam safety, minor irrigation tanks, improving water use efficiency and amendments to water related laws including proposal to have an alternative to water users associations (WUAs) such as rythu samanvaya samithis.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 10:54:31 AM |

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