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Number of deep tubewells rose by 1.1m in 7 years in India

PTI | New Delhi |

The number of deep tube wells in the country saw surge from 1.46 million to 2.6 million between 2006-07 and 2013-14, according to the fifth minor irrigation Census carried out by the Union Water Resources Ministry.

Majority of the total deep tube wells, which irrigate 12.68 million hectares of land, are located in states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka and are dominantly owned by farmers, the report said.

Forty per cent, largest chunk, of these tube wells have a depth range of 70-90 metres, while 26 per cent are in the range of 90-110 metres, said the Census, carried out with 2013-14 as reference year and released recently.

In tube well, pipe is bored underground. As per the definition, the report said, deep tube wells are more than 70 metres deep.

“There are total of 2.6 million deep tube wells in 661 districts of the country irrigating 12.68 million ha of land.

Deep tube wells have grown rapidly from 0.1 million in 1987 to 0.5 million in 2000-01, 1.45 million in 2006-07 and more than 2.6 million in 2013-14,” the Census carried out.

The report said 98.5 per cent of the deep tube wells are owned privately. 81 per cent of the private owners are individual farmers, while 19 per cent are owned by group of farmers.

Among the farmers, marginal and small peasants own 50 per cent of the deep tube wells.

“As per the social status of the farmers owning deep tube wells, about 50.2 per cent schemes belong to others followed by other backward castes (38.6 per cent), scheduled caste (at 6.7 per cent) and scheduled tribe (4.5 per cent),” the report said.

About 62 per cent of individually owned deep tube wells are financed by a single source, while remaining 38 per cent are having more than one source of finance, it said.

Around 98.3 per cent deep tube wells have single lifting device, in which about 90 per cent are submersible pumps followed by centrifugal pump sat at 8 per cent.

“Around 95 per cent deep tube wells are having single source of energy in which electricity is dominating 96.6 per cent followed by diesel 3.3 per cent,” the study said.

According to water distribution system, open water channel (unlined/kutcha) is dominant (37.8 per cent) followed by underground pipe (19 per cent) and surface pipe (18.1 per cent).

In the deep tube wells, which are ‘in use’, around 80 per cent are functioning without any constraint in utilisation of potential.

Constraint is being faced in utilising the remaining 20 per cent deep tube wells, mainly because of less discharge of water and non-availability of adequate power, the report added.