Detailed Study of Zones 1-4
Percentage Area In Land Irrigability Classes
A study done on Zone 7 reports that 74% of the area is severely problematic for irrigation (ORG 1981). The study concludes that since the area suitable for irrigation in zone 7 is such a small fraction of the total area of that zone, it is questionable whether this should be brought into the SSP command. The report suggests that a change in cropping patterns under the existing regime may be more fruitful.
Incredibly, detailed studies have so far been completed for only 5 out of 13 agroclimatic zones! Studies are supposed to be under way for the rest of the command area, and it is quite likely that they will bear out the gloomy prognosis of the preliminary study undertaken by ORG earlier (ORG 1982).
The project authorities claim to have a "foolproof system" to deal with any problems. They assert that not a single hectare will get waterlogged or salinised. Let's look at this foolproof system.
The SSP authorities plan to have groundwater sensors placed along every 100 Km2 of the 18,000 Km 2 command area. These will be linked to a central computer, which will analyse the data and send out commands to the canal heads to stop the flow of water into areas showing signs of waterlogging. In addition, a mix of irrigation-only, drainage-only and irrigation-cum-drainage