Journal article / Lack of Self-reliance in Irrigation Management Despite Decentralisation

Balooni, Kulbhushan, Vineetha Menon, and Shilpa M. Asokan. ‘Self-reliance versus State Responsibility: Sustaining Lift Irrigation Systems’. Economic and Political Weekly 54, no. 6 (9 February 2019): 48–56.

Abstract (edited): Reducing the role of the state and transferring the rights and responsibilities of irrigation systems to water users have received much attention in literature.

This article presents insights from a study of the management of lift irrigation systems established prior to and in the early stage of decentralisation of governance in Elamkulam Gram Panchayat in the Malappuram District of Kerala.

The study highlights that neither irrigation management transfer nor  decentralisation campaigns in themselves seem to have fostered self-reliance or capabilities of the water users in the new decentralised period of institution building.

Despite differences in water users’ associations in terms of genesis and self-reliance, many seek state support for sustaining the systems. In obtaining state support, associations that are capable of adapting to new decentralised institutional arrangements appear better-positioned, compared to those that lack such capabilities.

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Editor’s note: The full text is available for free at the publisher’s website for a limited time.

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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