Exploring Public-Private Partnership in the Irrigation and Drainage Sector in India: A Scoping Study

Publication | July 2013

Private sector participation has the potential to enhance the performance of India's irrigation and drainage sector, raising productivity and efficiency levels as well as economic returns.

In spite of substantial investment by the Government of India, the country's irrigation and drainage sector finds itself plagued with numerous concerns. The current productivity and efficiency levels, as well as economic returns, are all lower than expected. In light of the growing stress on natural resources and the threat of climatic change, meeting the needs of its growing population poses a huge challenge. To enhance the sector's performance, the central and state governments of India are now looking to decentralize the sector's management and seek collaboration with the private sector.

This report is the result of a scoping investigative study initiated by the Asian Development Bank to explore the potential for public-private partnerships in the irrigation and drainage sector in India. It identifies the areas where private sector participation can be envisaged in consonance with the current national policy framework; examines the legal and institutional status, and presence of national and international best practices; and suggests PPP models appropriate to Indian conditions.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Water Resource Development and Management in India
  • Diagnostic Assessment of Irrigation and Drainage Development in India
  • Available Options and Reform Initiatives
  • Potential Areas for New Investments
  • PPP Experience in the Water Sector
  • Financial Analysis for the Development of Irrigation Projects under PPP
  • Opportunities for PPP in the I&D Sector in India
  • Road Map and Detailed Action Plan
  • Summary and Recommendations
  • References and Selective Reading
  • Appendixes