Irrigation Department played a vital role in development of Irrigation potential in Assam to the tune of 8.82 lakh hectares (up to March 2015), out of total crop area of about 41.60 lakh hectare. In practice Irrigation Deptt. has created 7.32 lakh hectare Irrigation potential (neglecting the figure created by ASMIDC which has no existence in the field). This has resulted in increase of food grain production of the state of Assam. The main activities of the department are:-

A. Formulation of a Scheme/Project

Firstly, all the proposed schemes and its area are identified based on the farmers demand, the availability of water source, i.e. ground water or surface water, and topographical survey maps. The few data in respect on water availability, rainfall etc. is collected locally and then estimates are framed for conducting necessary survey and investigation to study the technical feasibility and economic viability.
After the necessary sanction has been accorded, survey work and other data collection works are taken up. Normally, survey works are executed departmentally by engaging departmental staff. The project report/estimate for the proposed scheme/project is formulated from the above collected data to show the probable cost of the scheme/project.

B. Implementation of the Scheme/Project

Once the estimate is approved both Administrative and Technical, the Irrigation Department through its field officers executes the work through the registered Firm/Contractors after observing all formalities. In case of major medium scheme/project clearance from Central Water Commission (CWC) and environmental clearance has to be obtained before execution of the scheme/project.
The department has its own separate monitoring and quality control cells, headquarter at Guwahati under direct control of Secretary, Irrigation to monitor the quality and progress of the work from time to time and suggest necessary measures to complete the project within the schedule time frame.

C. Supplying Water to Cultivable Field etc. from the Implemented Scheme/Project

Agricultural production depends primarily on climatic conditions. Constraints include high humidity, low temperature during winter, low light intensity and radiation, flood as well as drought conditions in certain seasons etc. These natural climatic barriers in production cannot be stopped by man. These factors are very important in respect of productivity of state and affect the economy of the state as well.

The other factors like agriculture extension management is found to be inadequate in Assam has also affect on production. Ignorance of the farmers regarding use of inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and also holding size and prevalence of good numbers of small and marginal farmers are some of the constraints that affect productivity. Thirdly, the plan and programme could not be achieved due to insufficient fund allocation. Assam state is still lagging behind the other states of the country in respect to irrigation and agriculture. There are some major/medium irrigation schemes and many minor irrigation schemes in Assam, which are either completed, or nearing completion stage. But the assets created could not be maintained properly due to paucity of fund. In fact many active schemes are becoming inactive or inoperative due to non-availability of adequate maintenance fund.

It has been suggested to realize Irrigation Service Charges (Water Tax) from the farmers and then invest the realized amount to meet up the shortage of fund available. But the present process of Realization of Irrigation Service Charges (R.I.S.C.) introduced from 1994. Earlier to that, the beneficiaries (farmers) were provided irrigation water free, difficulties are being faced to realize the dues. Meeting with cultivators of the schemes have since been started and is continuing but though the trend is on the increasing, the amount realized is meager compared to what is due.

The Govt. of Assam refixed the Irrigation Service Charges for realization from the beneficiaries of all types of Irrigation schemes at the rate indicated below in March 2000:

Crops Rate/Bigha (Rs.) Rate/Hectare(Rs.)
1. Kharif 37.50 281.24
2. Wheat and other Rabi crops 75.00 262.50
3. Early Ahu 100.00 751.00
4. Ahu 100.00 751.00
5.Jute 20.00 150.00
6. Sugarcane 29.60 222.00

An act on this is enacted on which Cabinet has given approval in October 2004. Suggestions from all quarters are welcome, how to improve R.I.S.C. For all reasons stated above it is necessary to provide maintenance fund till the situation improves, otherwise the assets created will be gradually destroyed/damaged.


Year Irrigation Services Charges (Amount in Rupees)
Assessed during the year Realised during the year Balance to be realised for the year
1994-1995 26447626 109702 26337924
1995-1996 21754212 61828 21692384
1996-1997 20577335 20792 20556543
1997-1998 20147102 90951 20056151
1998-1999 21800008 76854 21723154
1999-2000 24576652 63266 24513386
2000-2001 43683352 23359 43659993
2001-2002 43384160 24178 43359982
2002-2003 27956848 174112 27782736
2003-2004 22961651 286240 22675411
2004-2005 20520827 492062 20028765
2005-2006 24596629 353256 24243373
2006-2007 44836259 201859 44634400
2007-2008 31277589 196292 31081297
2008-2009 36315967 201497 36114470
2009-2010 51340717 339568 51001149
2010-2011 48074518 475873 47598645
2011-2012 52499548 1206105 51293443
2012-2013 61989734 762940
2013-2014 717774
2014-2015 685580
TOTAL: 582751000 65640888 578353206

Participatory Irrigation Management(PIM):

In order to reduce the gap between potential created and utilised of Irrigation potential, more emphasis has been laid on Participatory Irrigation Management(PIM), where the farmers can take part in the system and process of Irrigation as well as its maintenance. Under the PIM system Water Users’ Association (WUA) have been formed within the Command Area of Government Irrigation Schemes and irrigation schemes will be handed over to WUA for up keeping and maintenance and equitable use of irrigation water in phase manner. At present there are 1096 WUA have been formed of till 31st March 2015 which 582 WUA have already been registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and rest 513 nos. are unregistered. There are all about 170 nos. of schemes are handed over to WUA.

Outside the state exposure tour has been arranged to Tamilnadu, Andra Pradesh and Jharkhand for some Irrigation Officials, NGO’s and farmers under Water Users’ Association.

District level coordination committees have been formed with the officials of the Irrigation Department and Agriculture Department and meetings are held to arrive at a solution for optimum use of water by motivating the farmers.

The Assam Irrigation Act, 1983 and the Assam Irrigation Rules 1997 have been enacted providing safeguards to the Irrigation Schemes and cultivators as well.

The Assam Irrigation Water Users’ Act, 2012 has been enacted with a view to safeguarding the right of the beneficiary cultivators of the Government Irrigation Schemes wherein provision for active participation of the cultivators has been made. Necessary Rules under the Act is also being passed by the Government.

The State of Assam has recently enacted the Assam Ground Water Control and Regulation Act 2012. The Act will regulate and control the Development and Management of Ground Water in the State of Assam and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. With the rapid growth in population, natural water bodies are being encroached and ground water recharge zones are often blocked. The Act will empower the State Govt. to identify the recharge worthy areas in the State and issue necessary guidelines for adoption of rain water harvesting for ground water recharge in those areas. Also the State authority may issue directions for constructing roof top rain water harvesting structures in all residential, commercial and other premises having an area of 100 sq.m or more.

The Irrigation Department is proposing to take up Deep Tube well schemes powered by solar energy. Already one project has been taken up on an experimental basis at Borlah area near Hajo at an expenditure of Rs. 61 lakh to achieve 30hectare. Proposal has also been formulated for taking up some micro irrigation schemes powered by solar energy from the natural water bodies.

A multidisciplinary approach in some of the major irrigation projects have been adopted for giving due consideration to optimum utilization, environmental sustainability and holistic benefit to the people. In this respect Mini/Micro Hydel projects have been proposed in Dhansiri Irrigation Project, Sukla Irrigation Project and Bordikorai Irrigation Project.

In the recently conducted 14th National Conference of Water Resources and Irrigation Ministers of State Governments. and Union Territories held on 03/10/2012 in New Delhi, several vital issues on the Irrigation sector were deliberated upon. The constitution of a permanent forum of Water Resources and Irrigation (of States on rotation basis) to deliberated on issues related to Water Resources on regular basis was agreed upon by the Govt. of Assam.


Sl No. Name of District No. of WUAs formed upto 31-01-2014 No. of schemes handed over
Registered Unregistered Total
1 Barpeta 23 22 45
2 Bongaigaon 12 12 7
3 Chirang 5 9 14
4 Cachar 33 1 34 3
5 Darrang 27 27 8
6 Udalguri 12 2 14
7 Dhemaji 6 4 10
8 Dhubri 28 20 48 19
9 Dibrugarh 15 7 22 7
10 Goalpara 46 16 62 9
11 Golaghat 45 8 43 16
12 Hailakandi 22 6 28 1
13 Jorhat 44 36 80 23
14 Kamrup 17 50 67 4
15 Kamrup Metro 33 6 39
16 Baksa 6 17 23
17 Karbi Anglong 16 28 44 3
18 Karimganj 3 3 3
19 Kokrajhar 29 5 34 11
20 Lakhimpur 9 17 26 3
21 Morigaon 39 30 69 7
22 Nagaon 67 65 132 16
23 Nalbari 4 50 54 4
24 Dimahasao 38 38
25 Sivasagar 27 26 53 10
26 Sonitpur 7 44 51 1
27 Tinsukia 17 6 23 5
TOTAL ASSAM 582 513 1095 170

For any clarification/other information, contact can be made at the following addresses:

Secretary to the Government of Assam,
2nd Floor, Block-D
Assam Secretariate
Dispur, Guwahati-781006
Telephone : 0361-2237021 (O)
  0361-2663776 (R)
Fax : 0361-2237031
e-mail :
Telegraphic address : IRRIGASSAM,Guwahati
Chief Engineer,
Irrigation, Assam,
Telephone No : 0361-2260819 (O)

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