The core service of the Irrigation Department of U.P. Government is to provide irrigation water to the farmers of command area of canals and tube wells according to norms of various crops at a cheap price. The objective is to make farmers prosperous by increasing crop output and in turn to make the state and nation self-reliant.
(1)Norms of the service and time limit:
In order to provide sufficient water to the farmers in an easy and time-bound manner, minimum 75% available water is assigned on the basis of water availability at the head of canal system during last ten years. Accordingly, a roster of time-bound irrigation service is prepared on a prescribed format twice in a year systematically for Rabi and Kharif seasons. The consent or recommendation for preparing the roster is taken from the District Magistrate/Chief Development Officer, agriculture department, officials of the command area, executive engineer, irrigation and power advisory committee and the District Sinchai Bandhu. The roster is published and implemented only after it is approved.
After publication of roster, it is sent to concerned MP, MLA, Block Pramukh and to all Pradhans through BDO at the start of the crop season. The objective is to give information of availability of water during the season to the farmers so that they can plan their crop accordingly. The roster is displayed at the office of CDO and Tehsil etc. This is also sent to the DM, CDO and District Agriculture Officer for its wide publicity.
The irrigation record keeper or Sinchpal records the irrigated area after irrigation and it is measured by the Amin. Before that, the Amin informs the cultivators through notice displayed at Gram Panchayat about the date of measurement. Information is also given to the concerned Tehsildar so that the Lekhpal is also present during measurement. It is expected of the cultivators that they remain present during measurement so that they may point out any error and thus it may be rectified immediately. After measurement, a slip is given to the cultivators in which information about irrigation is given and it is expected that any error is pointed out in writing within 30 days. Objection should be raised within 21 days if irrigation fee is charged even though the cultivated land was not irrigated by canal water. Such objection may be submitted to the executive engineer/assistant engineer/ deputy revenue officer or the concerned Jiledar. An investigation will be completed within 15 days of receipt of the objection and a decision will be taken immediately thereafter. Its information will also be given to the complainant cultivator.
After the measurement work a rental list is prepared which is sent to the Tehsil on 1st May for Rabi and on 1st December for Kharif and the rent is collected by the Tehsil staff. It may be noted that if an application is submitted for reducing the irrigation rates or for exemption, and the crop is harvested within 15 days of making such submission, then such application may be rejected. Therefore it is expected of the cultivators that any objection should be submitted to the competent official and within the time limits.
(2) Ensuring Service
The Irrigation Department always strives to serve the public. The regional officers and employees of the department make every effort to provide enough water to the farmers as per the roster. While preparing roster, it is ensured that farmers do not face any problem in normal circumstances and they take maximum advantage of irrigation water. But the roster is changed in case of adverse weather conditions, natural calamities or in emergency situations which are beyond control of the irrigation department. In such conditions, a decision is taken with discretion keeping in view the larger interest of masses and information about this is given to the cultivators through various sources.
Besides, people are requested not to breach canals and build embankment and withdraw water illegally as this not only damages canal but other cultivators do not get sufficient water. Resorting to such illegal means, misuse of canal tracks and damaging public property is a criminal offense. Agriculture experts have proved that the farm output is maximised when sufficient water is given to the crop at desired time. The produce may get affected if more than desired or less water is given. Cultivators may take help of Agriculture Department for information regarding right quantity and right time for irrigation. By taking more water than required, cultivators not only harm themselves but also harm other cultivators who do not get sufficient water and thus unknowingly a national loss is made by misuse of water.
(3) Easy availability of information – Courteous and helpful staff
Details are given in Para (1). Apart from this, a district level meeting of Sichai Bandhu is held on second Tuesday of every month at a place designated by the DM. Likewise, Tehsil Day is held on first and third Tuesday of every month. A Block Sichai Bandhu committee is constituted for irrigation by tube-well and its meeting is held twice in a month. Details of the committees are given in Para (4).
(4) Consultations with citizens
A committee of District Sichai Bandhu is constituted in the district for consultations with citizens and for receiving suggestions. All MP, MLA, MLC and Block Pramukh of the district besides one citizen nominated by the administration are members of this committee. The meeting is presided over by the people’s representatives. The secretary of the committee is the nodal executive engineer of the irrigation department. All officials of the district or their representatives who are associated with agriculture or irrigation in any manner attend the meeting provide information about people’s problems and efforts are made to resolve the issues through mutual discussions.
Solutions to the general problems are as follows:
(A) District Sichai Bandhu
This meeting is held on second Tuesday of each month at district level. Desired action is taken as possible to address the issue usually raised by the farmers.
- Schedule and details of proper cleaning of canals.
- Breaching of canals and problem of providing water at tail.
- Functioning of canals as per roster.
- Problems relating to arrangement of canal sluice.
- Problems relating to the operation of state tube wells.
- Review of closure of canals.
- Problems relating to determining irrigation charges.
- Resolving other types of complaints received from farmers.
Minutes of the meeting of District Sichai Bandhu are recorded in a register. A date is fixed after deliberations for resolving personal issues of the farmers. Efforts are made that action taken on problems raised in any meeting was submitted in the next meeting. Details of problems which were not resolved at district level are sent to competent officials so that the decision-making process is made at the appropriate level.
(B) Tehsil Diwas
Tehsil Diwas is organised for redress of public grievances in all districts on first and third Tuesday of each month at every Tehsil headquarter. The timing of the Tehsil Diwas is fixed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The DM presides over the meeting in one of the tehsils and executive engineer of irrigation department, circle officer; tehsil and development block level officials take part in the proceeding compulsorily. All complaints and public grievances received at the Tehsil Diwas are disposed of on the spot as far as possible and for any unresolved cases; a suitable time is fixed for their disposal. Officials are separately assigned for time bound disposal of such cases.
In Tehsil Diwas organised under the chairmanship of Pargana Magistrate, public grievances or complaints received there are redressed on the spot, as far as possible. If this cannot be done, then a suitable time for this purpose is fixed and officials are deputed to solve the issues in the given time. Complete record of all matters that come in Tehsil Diwas is maintained. Separate record is kept for those cases for which time has been given for prompt action so that a review and monitoring of their disposal is done in that duration. Divisional officials also attend Tehsil Diwas during their visits in any of the Tehsil every Tuesday.
A district level officer or their representative remains in their office every day to redress public problems and complaints and a visitor’s register is kept in a given format at every office. The departmental head gives proper instructions to his office or subordinates in regard to the problems of the visitor.
(C) Block Sichai Bandhu (Tube well)
The government has set up Block Sichai Bandhu (Tube well) at block level for disposal of problems and complaints related to state tube wells at local level. The objective is to provide as much as possible irrigation facility to the farmers. The other objective setting up this body is to have a mutual coordination and exchange of views between people’s representatives and officials. Block Pramukh, Senior Deputy Block Pramukh, Assistant Engineer (Mechanical) Tube well, BDO, Junior Engineer (State Electricity Board) and government nominated three persons are members of this body while the member secretary is Assistant Engineer (Mechanical) Tube well. Block Pramukh presides over the fortnightly meeting of the body that takes place at Block headquarter. The date, time and the place for the meeting is decided by the member secretary with consent of the president.
Meeting of the Block Sichai Bandhu (Tube well) deliberates over the following problems of the farmers and takes action for their redress:
- Problems in operation of state tube wells.
- Review of closure of state tube well.
- Review of the repairing of state tube well’s pipe-lines.
- Sowing of crops in tube well’s command area.
- Problems relating to determination of irrigation fees.
- Review of power supply at state tube wells.
- Disposal of other complaints of the farmers.
Proceedings of the meeting of Sichai Bandhu (Tube well) meeting are recorded in a register. A certain date is fixed for discussion and resolving the personal problems of the farmers. It is ensured that information of steps taken on problems is given compulsorily in the next meeting. Details of problems whose solution was not possible at block level is sent to the concerned executive engineer (tube well) so that suitable decision is taken at proper level. The concerned executive engineer takes part in the meeting of Block Sichai Bandhu in any Block every month.
(D) Kisan Sewa Kendra
Kisan Sewa Kendra are conducted at every Nyay Panchayat on every Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm. The objective of these centres is to provide public services at people’s door-step inter departmental coordination, ensured availability of employees, effective monitoring and disposal of public complaints and bring awareness among masses. The DM nominates an in-charge officer for effective functioning of such centres.
Seechpal of Irrigation department and tube well technician remain present for full time at these centres on the first and third Thursday of every month. In case of a public holiday of Thursday, these employees attend the meeting on next Thursday. Tube well operators of the irrigation department have to be compulsorily present at their tube well on given dates in the week from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm so that they are available to the general public.
Every employee is allotted a certain Kisan Sewa Kendra by their controller/district/tehsil or block level officer for compulsorily attendance. The copy of its order is made available to the concerned BDO and the DM or CDO. If any employee’s area of work covers more than one Nyay Panchayat, he is allocated meeting of that Nyay Panchayat in which he has larger work area.
Departmental staff provides information of their work area, as demanded by any person or people’s representative. They also dispose of public grievances and if in any case intervention of a senior officer is required, they present the case to them. The in charge officer presents such cases to the senior officials of the concerned department during inspection and records it in their register. Details of all such petitions which are pending with various officials are made available for monitoring to the nodal officer nominated by the DM. The district/Tehsil level officials while making area tour on every Thursday, inspects the centres and note down the remarks and suggestion in the available register.
(5) Receipt of complaints, simple and convenient procedure of providing information and time bound disposal of complaints.
Besides irrigation related information, the roster contains names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. of the in charge officers of canal system so that farmers may contact them for redress of any complaint and problems.
(5.1) Common complaints of the cultivators:
- Land is not irrigated but irrigation is recorded.
- Land is irrigated through other means but irrigation by the department is recorded.
- Crop is destroyed for want of water.
- The land is partially irrigated, or done through lift but the fees is charged for flow irrigation.
- Charges are levied more than once for one farm.
- Wrong information of crop is recorded.
- Wrong name of cultivator is recorded.
- Error in calculations.
- Crop is destroyed due to bad seeds.
- Cultivator slip is not provided.
- Wrong damages are recorded against cultivator.
- Cultivator may not be getting his share of water.
- Approved sluice was not set up.
- Canal was not functioning according to roster.
- Other issues.
(5.2) Concerned officials who would dispose the complaints given in Para (5.1)
A cultivator may forward his complaint to the concerned executive engineer, assistant engineer, deputy revenue officer, junior engineer or Jiledar but its disposal would be done in the following manner:
For no 1 and 2, and from 3 to 9 by concerned Assistant Engineer/Deputy Revenue Officer.
For no 10, by executive engineer.
For no 11, the cultivator would be given a date to present his side by the Jiledar and later by assistant engineer and the final decision would be given by the executive engineer.
For no 12, by Executive engineer and deputy revenue officer.
For no 13 and 14, Executive engineer / concerned assistant engineer or junior engineer.
For no 15, a quick disposal would be made according to the nature of the complaint.
(5.3) Nominated officials at village/block/tehsil/district level for receiving and resolving complaints
||Executive Engineer/Deputy Revenue Officer.
(5.4) Time table for disposal of complaints
The time table for disposal of complaints as mentioned in para 5.1 above shall be as follows:
(A) For no 3 to 7, the complaint shall be submitted by the cultivator within 30 days of receiving the slip. For no 1 and 2, the cultivator must file complaint within 21 days of getting the slip, and their disposal shall be done by the competent official within 15 days.
(B) For no 11, within one week
(C) For no 12, the cultivator must give notice and dispose as quickly as possible
(D) For no 13 – generally in three months
(E) For no 14 – two days
(F) For no 15 – will depend on nature of complaint, but effort will be made to dispose as quickly as possible
(5.5) Right To Information for Cultivators (if available at villages within time)
- Receipt of irrigation slip
- Setting up of sluice.
- Closure of canal against roster.
- Notice of damages
- Disposal of application against irrigation
- Proposed date of measurement by irrigation supervisor ( through display of notice at village panchayat)
- Notice of roster through BDO and gram pradhan.
6. Independent investigation of executed work by involving citizen groups.
Under the present procedure, the irrigated area of a farmer is measured in every crop for calculating irrigation fees. The irrigation fee on various crops is determined according to taxes imposed by the government. The amount of total fees is conveyed to the concerned tehsildars for collection of dues from farmers. The designated revenue supervisor and Jiledar are expected to remain present during measurement work so that no error is made in recording farmers name, crop, cultivated area and irrigation tax. However, if farmer finds any error then a complaint is accepted by the department. And it is disposed within a fixed time after investigation.
Monitoring of measurement of irrigated areas and other complaints is explained in the North India Canal and Water Drainage Act 1873 and in Irrigation Rules. These are being followed in spirit by all officials and employees. An investigation procedure is also prescribed so that undue fees or charges are not imposed on any farmer.