Title: Economics of public investment in rehabilitation of water bodies in the saline zone of West Bengal, India

Authors: Sebak Kumar Jana; K. Palanisami; Siddhartha Sankar Manna

Addresses: Department of Economics with Rural Development, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India ' Water Technology Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India ' Department of Economics, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Although surface irrigation through water bodies like tanks still occupies an important place in the irrigation sector in some ecologically fragile regions like saline zones of India, the importance of it has decreased over the years for various reasons. Recognising the importance of surface irrigation for agricultural development, Government of India had taken various irrigation development programmes to improve surface irrigation based on water bodies over years. The present paper attempts to do cost benefit analysis of selected 22 water bodies renovated under two public investment programs namely 'National Project for Repair, Renovation & Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies directly linked to Agriculture' and 'Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)' in the saline zone in West Bengal. The paper finds that out of 22 selected water bodies, public investment on 19 water bodies is economically justifiable. The command area of the water body, fishing in the water body, type of the water body, existence of irrigation equipments, size of the investment are found to have significant positive impact on the net present value (NPV). The issue of salinity is found to be a great challenge in the management of water bodies in the region.

Keywords: public investment; water bodies; cost benefit analysis; CBA; saline zone; irrigation; rehabilitation; India.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2018.093993

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2018 Vol.14 No.2, pp.165 - 180

Received: 13 Jul 2017
Accepted: 11 Mar 2018

Published online: 31 Jul 2018 *

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