Dream come true, farmers of Punjab get canal water after decades: Water Resources Minister : The Tribune India

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Dream come true, farmers of Punjab get canal water after decades: Water Resources Minister

Hayer says out of 15,741 water courses closed in the state due to the non-availability of canal water for the last several decades, 13,471 water courses restored in last two-and-a-half months



IANS

Chandigarh, July 3

In a dream come true, farmers of Punjab got canal water after decades through MGNREGA at an outlay of Rs 200 crore, state Water Resources Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said here on Monday 

Water Resources Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer. Photo: @AAPPunjab/Twitter

Hayer lauded all officers and employees of his department for the historic achievement and said strengthening the canal water network is the main need of the hour to save the agriculture and groundwater of the state.

He said whereas the farmers are getting canal water for the first time, the same was provided to cotton belt farmers during sowing season on their demand.

Hayer said out of 15,741 water courses closed in the state due to the non-availability of canal water for the last several decades, 13,471 water courses were restored by the Water Resources Department in the last-two-and-a-half months.

“Now out of a total of 47,000 water courses in Punjab, only 2,270 remain to be restored, regarding which the work is also going on a war footing. To restore the water courses, the government issued a notification and they were given government status instead of community water courses. Besides, the condition of repairing the water courses only after 25 years was abolished.”

The minister said the department has restored these closed water courses at a cost of Rs 200 crore through MGNREGA. Similarly, unutilised funds were also used. More than 20 per cent of the canals in Punjab are running beyond their capacity due to which sufficient water is also reaching the tails. The department also increased the capacity of BML, BDC and UBDC.

He said they are continuously getting the canals inspected by deploying patwaris to executive engineers of the department to ensure that canal water reaches the farmers. He said till last year only 21 per cent of irrigation was done with canal water, while the remaining 79 per cent was done with underground water.

The new initiative will significantly increase the area irrigated with canal water. Hayer said taking another big step, the revenue cases of canal water disputes which have been pending for a long time were resolved quickly.

In one year, 4,700 new cases of disputes came up while 5,016 cases were solved by the department in which the backlog was also cleared. Now only 1,563 cases are pending which will also be solved soon.

Giving details about the works being done to deal with the possible threat of floods in the rainy season, Hayer said the department has completed 318 flood-prevention works at cost of Rs 89.10 crore before the season started.

#gurmeet singh meet hayer #MGNREGA


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