A Pani Panchayat is an association of all persons owing land within a hydraulically delineated portion of the command area ranging in size approximately from 300-600 hectare in case of major/ medium/ minor irrigation project. It may be in respect of minor or sub-minor or direct outlets from the main/ branch distributaries of the project. In case of lift irrigation or minor flow irrigation project, the area is limited to the project command area where the area is less than 300 hectare. The Pani Panchayat (PP) is a part of the farmers organization recognized by Orissa Pani Panchayat Act 2002 and Orissa Pani Panchayat Rules 2003 and registered under Society registration Act, 1860. In the present concept of Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM), the responsibility of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the reservoir, dam, sluices, spill way, distribution networks (primary and secondary) rests with the Deptt of Water Resources (DOWR) whereas the responsibility of the O&M of the tertiary system (below minor/ sub-minor) is with the Pani Panchayat.
Major Objectives: To create a feeling of unity and brotherhood among fellow farmers and also to visualize the created, irrigated potentials as their own rather than that of Govt.
  • Freedom of deciding own cropping pattern within the allocated water.
  • Growing of cash crops under crop diversification programme in order to get better returns of their investments.
  • Higher cropping intensity by economical use of water.
  • Easy and timely availability of credit, agriculture inputs like seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals etc. to the Pani Panchayat members.
By mid October 2006, 13563 Pani Panchayats have been registered in different type of projects viz major, medium, minor (flow and lift) in an area of 10.73 lakh hectares in the State. Out of this, 12364 Pani Panchayats within an area of 6.76 lakh hectares have been handed over to the users.

Status of the Pani Panchayat in the State (As on 15.10.2006)

Type of Projects Area under Pani Panchayat (lakh ha.) Registered Handed over
Area (lakh ha.) Nos. Area (lakh ha) Nos.
Major & Medium 11.19 6.35 1453 4.94 1123
Minor (flow) 3.28 1.92 1005 1.49 775
Minor (Lift) 2.45 2.45 11105 2.33 10466
Total 16.92 10.73 13563 6.76 12364

  • 58 seed & 336 fertiliser dealers have been appointed in the project area for sale of seed, fertilizers and Plant Protection chemicals to the Pani Panchayat members during 2006.
  • 8736 soil samples have been collected under 46 project commands of 19 Agril. Districts, out of which 6133 samples were analysed for providing fertilizer recommendation to Pani Panchayat members during 2006.
  • Crop planning of Pani Panchayat have been prepared by the concerned DAOs in consultation with the Apex/ Project Committee members.
During kharif 2006, crop planning for 4.84 lakh hectare has been prepared for 1979 Pani Panchayats in 25 agricultural districts covering major, medium, minor and lift irrigation projects. Likewise during rabi season crop planning for 1387 Pani Panchayats in 24 agricultural districts covering 1.36 lakh hectare has been prepared which is indicated below.

Area in hectare


Kharif 2006 Rabi 2006-07
Programme Coverage Programme
Paddy 440105 439260 46338
Wheat 1332
Maize 2945 549
Ragi 12313 12207 893
Pulses 3021 2980 31801
Groundnut 3132 2525 13838
Mustard 3917
Sesamum 4155
Sunflower 105
Jute 2388 2371
Sugarcane 2002 2039 2144
Cotton 786 786
Vegetables (Hort crops) 15305 14978 29921
Others 2148 2016 1242
TOTAL 484145 482029 136235

Benefits to Pani Panchayat under Agriculture Package Seed is an important component to increase production and productivity of crops in irrigated agriculture. It has been decided by the department to open additional sale centers in each GP for selling seeds to the farmers. Accordingly 44 additional sale centers are to be opened during 2006-07 in Pani Panchayats for supplying seeds to the farmers in the project areas.