Andhra Pradesh Irrigation and ICT ink Andhra’s Success story

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Innovative steps in irrigation and skill development helped Andhra Pradesh emerge as a ‘Star’ state.

Since the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh into two, the new state of AP had been ruing about the fact that Hyderabad, the major source of revenue for united AP went to Telangana, and newly-formed AP had to figure out how to generate enough revenue and survive as an independent state. The new state of Andhra Pradesh with higher share in population got lower share of the estimated combined State revenues. This resource and infrastructure inadequacy resulted in a severe shortage situation in the early days of the state. However, things have been looking up for the state now with positive and futuristic outlook of the state governance. The government has been extensively working on its schemes and the ones that are most benefitted are irrigation, district administration and e-Governance.

The efforts have been remarkable in all the sectors but are exceptionally noteworthy in these sectors and the fact that the government has carefully intermingled information technology to seek solutions to some of the most traditional roadblocks makes Andhra Pradesh a true winner. The success story of the state in nutshell can be called “inspiring” and the proof is the way Andhra Pradesh has risen from its 10th position in 2017 to 2nd in the 2018 SKOCH State of Governance report.

The state of Andhra Pradesh topped in the Irrigation and Skill development while stood second in Rural Development and e-Governance. The rankings have been based on the innovation, implementation and efficiency of schemes that were initiated by the state government in the last one year.

As part of the State of Governance study, SKOCH sent request letters and also contacted through different channels like telephones and emails to all ministries, departments, municipalities, district administration and other government bodies for sharing project details and their achievements. There was very good response from across the government departments and organisations of Andhra Pradesh. 40 projects were shortlisted for assessment and evaluation. All of these projects were thoroughly studied and examined by domain experts.

Besides the projects in Irrigation, Skill Development and ICT (e-Governance), the other sectors that seem promising and have proved to be effective have been District Administration, Rural Development and Governance. Here is a detailed analysis of all such reports that SKOCH found effective and noteworthy.

Top Projects

Six projects were found to be best performing and three of these projects are implemented in Irrigation, while one in Skill Development, one in Governance and one in e-Governance.

Inclusive Double Digit Growth

During 2014-15, the state GSDP growth was limited to single digit only. The key task for the state was to achieve GVA growth to double digit continuously for a period of 10 years. To meet the needs of the newly formed state, Government of Andhra Pradesh initiated a targeted approach which is a model of its kind in the country.

After analysing the past trends of the various sectors of economy, keeping the growth engines and potential areas in view; a detailed exercise was made and prepared state targets at current & constant prices in consultation with heads of the departments and all the district collectors.

The government has put in a holistic monitoring strategy encompassing five themes: Gross Value Added, Sustainable Development Goals, Samaaja Vikaasam, Kutumba Vikaasam and Key Performance Indicators. The performance is reviewed by chief minister with the district administrators in a conference where all the Ministers, Secretaries, Heads of the Departments participate and all the field level functionaries from the district, mandal to village level through video conference.

The Planning Department has initiated the process of Geo-Spatial analysis of State Income Estimates. The analysis of time series data of GSDP estimates has brought to the fore the most contributing factors to the state economy termed as “Growth Engines”. These Growth Engines indicate the strengths of the state and the potential areas which have contributed to the growth of the economy and development of the state over a period.

Innovation Valley of Sunrise State AP

Realising the untapped potential of state’s human resources, Andhra Pradesh has developed the human capital, which is well versed with contemporary technologies and innovations. Emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship has been the agenda of the state government to create knowledge economy. In this process, state has formulated Innovation & start-up policy through which capacity-building initiatives have been implemented in the domain of innovation and entrepreneurship. Physical infrastructure in the form of incubation centres has been developed to nurture the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs. Academia has been supported to set-up entrepreneurship development cells across all the 13 districts of the state. Student innovators have been provided with training sessions on innovation life cycle in order to impart basics of entrepreneurship.

Third Party Monitoring of Industrial Allotment

With this project, Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation has fundamentally transformed the way a state tracks investments made by various corporate entities and generation of employment through those investments. APIIC has brought the state of Andhra Pradesh the parameters of World Bank and DIPP for ease of doing business and has seen investments soaring in Andhra Pradesh. With this project, the state expects the same level of transparency from its citizens and investors as it provides them.

Real-time monitoring of ground water levels

Real time monitoring of ground water levels covering the entire state is first of its kind in the country. By measuring groundwater levels from 1,254 piezometers on real time basis across all the 13 districts of state and correlating the information with all 15 lakh agricultural bore-wells in the state, which were geo-tagged, and publishing the information in CM’s core dashboard makes it easy for administrators and common man to know the status of ground water levels. AP has recorded the maximum rise in ground water table in the last 17 years in spite of below normal rainfall.

Pattiseema Lift Irrigation scheme

Pattiseema lift irrigation scheme is a unique project which interlinks two major rivers Godavari and Krishna to form a water grid. This is one of the earliest projects where interlinking of rivers has been successfully completed in the country.

The project is designed to lift flood water from the River Godavari and pump it into the Polavaram right main canal that empties into the river Krishna in Vijayawada about 170 km from the pumping point.

Thousands of farmers in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor districts are expected to benefit from the Godavari-Krishna linkage. The project is designed to lift 80 TMC (Trillion Metric cubic feet) of flood water in a span of 110 days during the flooding season between July and October from Godavari. Overall the estimated amount of crop saved due to this Project is around RS2,400 Cr.

Neeru Chettu Programme

The State Government has given water conservation top priority and has taken it up in a mission mode for invigorating growth and development of agriculture in the state. Neeru-chettu (Water-Tree) involves desilting of tanks, repair and renovation of water harvesting structures like check dams and percolation tanks, construction of farm ponds, development of cascades, plantation of trees and micro irrigation projects. This scheme has been implemented across the state in all the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Geo- Spatial mapping of all the water conservation structures in the state has been done for effective planning and implementation of the scheme.

Neeru-chettu is one of the five priority campaigns taken up by the government. This programme has several elements focusing on conservation of water and planting of additional trees to improve water security in the state. The campaign is led by Water Resource Department and fully supported by other important departments.

Performing projects

Besides the six projects mentioned so far, there are eleven more projects that have been showing a positive impact and has been catching up. Irrigation and ICT (e-Governance) once again dominated this catgory with most of the projects pertaining to these two sectors.

e-Governance projects

Four projects—e-Cabinet, e-Office, e-procurement and Mee Seva—in e-Governance have been catching up. e-Cabinet is a selfhosted and self-managed file sharing system implemented where files from multiple client devices can be shared and synchronised using FileCloud. eCabinet provides secure access to data through multiple client devices such as desktops, laptops, and iPads. eCabinet also provides mobile access clients for iOS, android and Windows phone and functions similar to a Dropbox (a popular file sharing and syncing tool in the web), but in a private cloud environment.

e-Office is the process of reengineering the entire physical file practice such as creation of files, noting’s in the file, decision at various levels and finally issuing decisions as letters and notifications to electronic form.

e-Procurement is the single largest integrated state-owned online public procurement platform conducting G2B activities by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. With state-of-the-art technology and security features, the government has processed over 65,000 tenders worth over S90,000 crore in a single financial year reducing procurement lifecycle time by more than 60% and cost savings of over 30% of procurement budget by over 150 user departments.

Irrigation projects

The state has set in motion a few projects in the irrigation sector and the result has been far reaching and effective. Here is a brief overview of all such projects that SKOCH studied and narrowed down as the ones “catching up”.

Micro Irrigation Project is an online process that provides subsidy calculations, approval of authorities, and inspection of government officials and shares of subsidies. The project is unique and the first comprehensive project being implemented in a big way in Andhra Pradesh. The project aims at improving the economic conditions of the farmers by conserving water, bringing additional area into cultivation with the available water resources, enhancing the crop productivity and production, quality, facilitating judicious usage of ground water, saving in power consumption and cost of cultivation.

Gandikota-CBR Lift Irrigation scheme is another pioneer scheme initiated by the Andhra Pradesh Government which aims to provide irrigation facilities to an ayacut of 12,000 acres and lifting about 2,000 Cusecs water through five lift irrigation schemes.

Mana Neeru Mana Ooru is a rural water supply tracking system, which removes all the barriers for government’s vision of curbing malpractices in reaching the thirst by aiding in clear surveillance.

Another example of ICT in other sectors is AP Water Resource Information & Management System (APWRIMS) which is a one-stop web portal for water resource information and management by capturing the vital details of both the supply side and demand side of water resources of the entire state. It covers the whole spectrum of information such as Geo spatial and water level information of reservoirs, minor irrigation tanks and water harvesting structures. It also captures soil moisture, ground water and rainfall details.

Mucchumari scheme has been conceptualised to help Kadapa, Kurnool, Chittoor and Ananthpur districts of Andhra Pradesh get rid of their water problem. These districts were facing acute shortage of water which was making the lives of the farmers and the public miserable. Farmers were not getting sufficient water to save the crops and it was becoming difficult to provide drinking water facilities.

Yeleru reservoir was not getting adequate inflows, resulting in inadequate water for crops and drinking purposes. Farmers were not getting water for irrigation purposes for second crop. To overcome these problems, Government of Andhra Pradesh came up with this innovative idea of lifting water from Godavari and taking till Yeluru reservoir through pressure mains till the LMC to get early benefits. The scheme called “Purushottapatnam Lift Irrigation scheme” will be able to benefit 9,20,000 people through drinking water supply and 75,000 people will be benefited through irrigation facilities.

Rural Development Project

Another scheme that is fast catching up is in the sector of Rural Development. Kutumba Vikasam Samajha Vikasam is a scheme under which the government targets to achieve 17 sustainable development goals (SDG). Some of these indicators are relevant to the 10 points of ‘Samaja Vikasam’ (social development) and 15 points of ‘Kutumba Vikasam’ (household development). They are economic growth rate, per capita income, human development index (HDI) poverty ratio, food grain activity, irrigation efficiency, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio and safe drinking water among others.

Catching up projects

The Andhra Pradesh Capital Regional Develoment Authority (APCRDA) is responsible for promoting and securing the planned development of the capital region and capital city area. It is recording data in Blockchain to keep it temperproof, wherein the land details including spatial data like latitude, longitude are stored in Blockchain. Data of ownership allocation, registratin is also stored in Blockchain. With increased trust, buying and selling of real estate has attracted investors even from outside the state.

Panchayats in the state are increasingly getting networked that is improving the deliver of services to the citizens. Department of Panchayati Raj & Rural Development has rolled out statewide Panchayati Raj Information System that is enabling the state to improve selfsustainability levels of Panchayats, integrated planning and management of various citizen services like taxation, health and sanitation surveys, digitisation of revenue, e-Grama Panchayat meetings, marriage registration and so on. e-Grama Panchayat meetings include the complete life-cycle of meeting, vote casting etc.

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