Sub surface drainage (SSD) is an effective technology for amelioration of waterlogged saline irrigated lands in India. The system consists of perforated corrugated PVC pipes, covered with synthetic filter, installed mechanically at a design spacing and depth below soil surface to control water table depth and drain excess water and salts out of area by gravity or pumping from an open well called sump. The depth and spacing of drainage system are governed by rainfall, irrigation, hydro-geology, texture and salinity of soil and outfall conditions in the affected area. The technology developed by ICAR-CSSRI during 1980s initially for Haryana has been widely adopted and replicated in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. About 70,000 ha waterlogged saline soils have been reclaimed in different states of India through subsurface drainage technology. SSD has resulted in 25-100% improvement in cropping intensity and significant enhancement in crop yields (upto 45% in paddy, 111% in wheat and 215% in cotton). ICAR-CSSRI is involved in most of these projects in a collaborative/consultancy mode for monitoring and evaluation, in particular in Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. The cost of intervention and output per unit area is Rs. 74000/ha for medium to light textured soils with 67 m spacing & Rs. 1,15,000/ha for heavy textured soils with 30 m spacing. Due to notable increase in crop yields, the technology results in 3 fold increase in farmer’s income. The reclaimed area contributes about 5.6 lakh tonnes of food grains to the National pool and generates an income of Rs. 860 Crore annually.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1