M A I N   N E W S

Rs 2,246-cr Central aid to combat waterlogging in Punjab
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Centre today sanctioned a special package of Rs 2,246 crore to address acute water-logging problem in the south-west districts of Punjab like Faridkot, Ferozepur, Muktsar and Bathinda. The integrated project was sanctioned following a report submitted by a high-level expert group headed by Planning Commission member Mihir Shah last year.

The Punjab Government had last year submitted an integrated plan of Rs 3,327 crore to the Centre to deal with the waterlogging problem. Poor state of management of water resources, besides the excessive use of fertilisers and chemicals, has led to rise in ground water table and salinity problems, rendering large tracts of fertile agriculture land unsuitable for cultivation.

The integrated programme aims to address the problem in the 12th Plan period after selecting three priority projects mentioned in the report. The three projects are lining of Rajasthan Feeder Canal, lining of Sirhind Feeder Canal and drainage - surface and sub­surface works - at a cost of Rs 2,246 crore. This includes Central assistance of Rs 1,684.5 crore over the remaining years of the 12th Plan.

An inter-sectoral committee comprising experts and officials from the Central and state governments will be constituted by the Planning Commission to ensure proper implementation. Besides, the panel will also have independent experts. The report attributes the problem of waterlogging to seepage from inappropriately lined/unlined canal systems, inadequate provision of surface and sub-surface drainage and poor water management practices.

The action will address the problem across seven components - lining of Rajasthan Feeder Canal, lining of Sirhind Feeder Canal, drainage -surface and sub-surface- works, bio-drainage on farm water management, dairy development, micro irrigation with solar energy and development of fisheries.

Three priority projects

  • Punjab had last year submitted an integrated plan to the Centre to deal with waterlogging — south-west districts of Faridkot, Ferozepur, Muktsar and Bathinda are worst hit
  • The integrated programme involves undertaking three priority projects — lining of Rajasthan feeder canal, lining of Sirhind feeder canal and drainage works





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