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Solar Powered Community Lift-Micro Irrigation Project

S. No Project Brief
1. Name of District Hoshiarpur
2. Namo of Project Solar Powered Community Lift-Micro Irrigation Project in Talwara and Hazipur Blocks of District, Hoshiarpur
3. Remarking Feature World's Largest Solar Standalone Lift-Micro Irrigation Project
4. Name of Office under which project executed: DSCO, Hoshiarpur
5. Contact Details Divisional Soil Conservation Officer 4th Floor Mini Secretariat Hoshiapur
Phone/Mobile No: 01882240192
Email: dscohsp1@yahoo.com
6. Date of Start of Project 28/01/2015
7. Date of Completion of Project 07/08/2017
8. Cost of project Total Cost: Rs. 42.10 cr
Assistance from RKVY: Rs 9.36 cr
NABARD Loan: Rs. 31.57 cr

Objectives of Project:

  • To develop a comprehensive land-use and water and energy management model that demonstrates efficient on-farm water use and fully meets the aspirations of people to improve agriculture productivity and thereby their income.
  • To develop a working model for efficient irrigation using surface water in view of the depleting ground water table in the State and thereby develop a broad understanding of water rights and regulations and policies for conjunctive use of water.
  • To improve scientific, engineering and applied technological expertise of field staff so as to encourage science-based decision making.
  • To ensure that the community recognizes the essential role of irrigation water and importance of its responsible use in its well-being and thereby develop local institutions to promote sustainable irrigation water management.

Number of Beneficiaries of project:

Total Households1200 (nos), Farmer Households: 820 nos, Total Beneficiaries: 8500 nos
Women Beneficiaries 3730 nos, SC Beneficiaries: 2450 nos

Pre Project Status / Problems of project area:

The Kandi belt comprising 10% of the total area of the State is predominately rainfed, infact the name Kandi is Urdu word meaning 'Water Scarce'. The area suffers from acute shortage of drinking water besides poor socio-economic conditions of farmers. Hoshiarpur district falls in this kandi belt and is characterized by highest number of seasonal choes (rivulets) criss-crossing its lands but due to undulating topography and steep slopes, most of it gets wasted as runoff. Soil erosion is another major concern in this area as during monsoon period most of fertile soils gets eroded, thereby leaving farmers with double whammy i.e. unavailability of assured irrigation source coupled with soil degradation. These problems are just tip of iceberg as largely being forest area, the agriculture is threatened by wild animals. The farmers could not even grow fruits or vegetables for thier households needs because of threat of wild animals. Being sub-mountenous and remote area, the electricity supply is highly unreliable, mainly because of logists involved. The productivity is among the lowest as farmers are only able to cultivate single crop in a year and that too at mercy of rainfalls only. Govt of Punjab taking stock of this situation, constructed Kandi canal, called lifeline of kandi area, but the irony was that the area to the right of canal being at lower elevation is irrigated through gravitational flow whereas the area to the right of canal being at higher elevation could be irrigated utilizing lift irrigation only.

Details of Project executed:

The Govt of Punjab approved the project with total cost of 42.10 cr with funding from under RKVY and NABARD. The work on project was started in January, 2015 and was divided into three phases. The Project was completed and commissioned on 7th August, 2017. The project shall be operated and maintained by Department by hand holding local community and Water User Associations(WUA's) for initial 7 years thus providing gestation period for farmers to develop their fiscal and technical capacity. The project initially planned as a conventional irrigation project spanned out to be World's most innovative and largest Integrated Solar Powered Lift -Micro Irrigation Project mainly because of stakeholders' efforts and keen participation. The main stakeholders i.e. community of project area belongs to poor socio-economic strata and was solely dependent upon rains for agriculture. Farmers were not able to utilize water from kandi canal, flowing nearby because their agricultural lands were located at higher elevation and lift based system was required from canal to irrigate their lands. The project was designed as integrated solar powered, fully computerized and automated micro irrigation project wherein the solar energy gives leverage over grid based systems besides micro irrigation and automation helping water conservation and equitable distribution of scarce resource respectively. The project consists of 3 main lift points from kandi canal and to enable water to reach at higher elevations, booster stations (sump wells) are also provided at various points. The following systems have been installed

Name of the System Total Units Installed
Siphons 3
Sump Wells 12
Pump Houses 12
Training Hall 1
HDPE pipe(450mm to 180mm) 8610m
PVC (180 mm to 110mm) 10600m
Micro Irrigation systems( each section of 3 to 5.5 acres) 378 sections
Solar pumps (20hp to 25hp) 46
Solar panels 1.1 megawatt
Automation(SCADA, Hydraulic valves, Remote Terminal Units, Level transmitters, Pressure Transmitters) 664 hectares
Forest Fencing 11000m
Secondary Fencing around solar panels and pump houses 4307m
LLDPE Pipe 650624m
Sprinklers 40015 pieces
Floating solar panels on the surface of pond (one unit 41760 watts

Pre Project and Post project status/comparison:

Due to project interventions, barren lands are now brimming with agricultural activity. Farmers of area for first time ever; have grown crops in last years' Rabi season besides, productivity has more than doubled in just last two seasons since farmers started getting irrigation water. Fencing erected as part of project has thwarted the threat of wild animals, helping farmers to diversify into vegetables and horticulture crops. People who earlier migrated for work are now tilling their own lands and linkages established with local processing units are helping farmers getting instant cash returns. Training centre besides a demonstration farm provides farmers the latest knowhow by roping in experts from prestigious institutions. The project has also given employment to local youth, who are working in project as helpers and guards. The comparative figures of pre and post project are as follows:

S. No. Crop Pre Project Post Project %age Income Increase
Yield (qt/ha) Avg Income Yield (qt/ha) Avg Income
1. Maize 12-14 16900 22-25 31200 85
2. Wheat 14-16 21750 32-36 49300 127
3. Mustard 3-5 13200 7-10 29700 125
4. Sesamum 0.5 2350 3-4.5 16450 229
5. Vegetables Nil Nil varied 125000 NA

Benefits/Outcomes of project:

The project has given a much needed opportunity to the farming community of the project area as the villagers have not only ventured into conventional agriculture but even some of them, given the support of Department have started growing cash crops such as vegetables and horticulture crops. The Department in order to provide assured marketing of such crops had made elaborate arrangements with local processing units. The training centre which has been set up as part of project besides providing trainings on agricultural and technological aspects are also providing livelihood based trainings to landless and women community. Because of proximity of urban areas, allied activities such as dairy farming is mushrooming as fodder cultivation earlier dependent on rainfall, is now being grown all over the year. This besides giving an additional source of income has also provided a fiscal cushion for the local populace. Encouraged by assured irrigation, the farmers are also opting for mechanized tools such as tillers etc for agriculture compared to purely traditional agriculture followed earlier.