Irrigation Infrastructure – a view from below : the Tungabhadra river: August 2, 2008

India’s irrigation infrastructure is extensive, most of it (4600 dams and their accompanying canals) built since 1947. Statistics of the cost, area irrigated, yield increases etc are routinely dished out to civil society. Based on such figures, new schemes continue to be justified by the Government. However, the ground level performance of these irrigation systems is not well known.

Irrigation literature abounds with case studies about a part of an irrigation network. Few studies have examined a whole river, keeping its physical integrity in mind. This study zooms in on one river, to examine the details of various schemes on it. How these schemes have been running over a recent two year period forms the crux of this study. In this process, deeper insights into the economic, political and technical compulsions of operating and maintaining riverine schemes, come to light.

Chitra Krishnan will present a report of the study on the Tungabhadra river. The presentation will be moderated by Dinesh Kumar Mishra and followed by discussions, reflections and suggestions from participants on the study including possibilities of future work. This study has been supported by KICS and CWS.

Dr Chitra Krishnan has been trained as a civil engineer and pursued her Masters in environmental engineering. Her working stints in different rural contexts of Kerala and an organic farm in the USA have shaped her interests leading to her PhD in applied mechanics from IIT Delhi. She is currently practising dryland farming at Gubbi in Tumkur district, Karnataka and is involved in research studies during the agricultural off-season.

Chitra also made a similar presentation at the XIM,
balancing technical and social factors, Dr. Chitra Krishnan, RTS at XIMB, 2008