About Irrigation & Waterways Department

The Department

Irrigation Department came into being in the year 1920, separating out from Public Works Department and was named Irrigation & Waterways only in 1946. In the pre-plan period i.e., prior to 1951, irrigation was effected through Diversion Schemes on rivers Kangsabati and Damodar. Irrigation potential created upto 1951 was of the order of 1,39,000 ha. Now the department is entrusted with the task of providing irrigation facilities, offering reasonable protection against flood, alleviating drainage congestion, arresting erosion, maintaining internal navigation channels and up-keeping the natural waterways in the state. Since 1951 till date several Major and Medium Irrigation Projects, number of Embankment Schemes, Town protection Schemes, Drainage Schemes, Anti River Bank Erosion Schemes & Anti Sea - Erosion Schemes have been taken up by the department. With the help of existing Rain Gauge stations and River Gauge stations and collection of data and interaction with some relevant departments like CWC, IMD etc., a Flood Warning System has been developed. The department has a Public Relations & Statistical cell which publishes a news magazine "Sechpatra" both in Bengali & English regularly.


The upto-date achievements of the departments on several sectors are as follows :

Development of Irrigation Potential (Cumulative)

Year (Areas in Th. ha)
Upto 1947-1948 112.3
Upto 1955-1956 184.0
Upto 1960-1961 482.0
Upto 1965-1966 626.0
Upto 1973-1974 845.0
Upto 1979-1980 1076.0
Upto 1984-1985 1136.0
Upto 1989-1990 1236.0
Upto 1996-1997 1335.54
Upto 1999-2000 1429.70

Development in Flood Control and Drainage in Five Decades

Year Area Protected From Flood
(sq. km.)
Length of Embankment
Length of Drainage Channel (km.) No. of Towns Protected
1947 725 5900 69 8
2000 22005 10350 7129 74