The Punjab Government has devised a comprehensive policy to treat 102100 hectare land of approved projects under Krishi Sinchai Yojana-watershed component (IWMP) incurring 122.52 crore, whereas Rs.82.25 crore has been earmarked for the treatment of critical blocks in this fiscal.Disclosing this here, Mr. Sikandar Singh Maluka, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Punjab said that the objective of this scheme is to develop the natural resources from conservation of sub soil, providing vegetative cover, to check the depletion of water and erosion of soil, conservation of rain water and its use for the irrigation purposes, recharging of sub soil water, increasing yield thus providing means of income resources to the landless.He said that the state government till date has treated 40183 hectare land incurring Rs.48.22 crore. He said that the Union Government has approved 67 projects in 14 districts of the state to treat 314686 hectare land with the cost of Rs.377.13 crore.
The districts selected are Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, Pathankot, Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Faridkot, Ropar, Kapurthala, SAS Nagar, Tarn Taran, Fazilka, Gurdaspur and Mansa. He said that under the ongoing projects of IWMP scheme in these 14 districts, 1240 villages would be covered. He further said that last year the Union Government has approved action plan of Rs.114.334 crore, out of which Rs.48.96 crore as central share has already been released to Finance Department.The Minister said that the Ground Water Board has notified 44 critical blocks in Punjab. He said that the objective of critical block scheme is to increase the capacity of irrigation through underground pipes, using the untreated water of village ponds for the irrigation purposes, increasing the water table by conserving the excessive rain water. He said that in previous year, under critical blocks project Rs.83.32 crore was released by the union government, out of which the Punjab Finance Department has released Rs.30.58 to the state level nodal agency in the last fiscal.