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.
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)
Area in hectare