Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday directed the Water Resources department to identify more areas for relining of canals to check seepage and save the precious water resource.Underlining the need for urgent replacement of 72 abandoned tubewells in Kandi belt to augment irrigation facilities in the region, the Chief Minister directed Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to allocate the necessary funds for these on priority. Reviewing the works of the department through VC, the Chief Minister asked the department to expedite the ongoing canal relining projects, including the relining of Rajasthan Feeder (41 kms), Sirhind Feeder (45 kms), as well as the rehabilitation of Bist Doab Canal system and Banur Canal system. While significant progress has been made on these projects, the balance work should be speeded up, he said.Pointing out that 33 new schemes, worth Rs. 473.15 crore, had been included in the budget 2021-22 having the total outlay of Rs 156.48 crores, the Chief Minister said the relining works were a major priority for his government in view of the state’s depleting water resources.The Chief Minister was informed that rehabilitation of Kandi canal stage 1, renovation and modernization of Regulator Structures and rehabilitation, renovation and modernization of Lahore Branch System along with allies works in districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar were partly executed, while the remaining will carried out in the current and next fiscal.
Punjab has a total canal network length of 14500 kilometers. In the year 2021, approx. 2800 Kms drains will be cleaned for Rs 40 crores and flood protection works amounting to Rs. 60 cr will be executed before the onset of monsoon 2021. Work to release 200 cusecs of fresh water into Budha Nallah from Sirhind Canal through Neelon escape in order to reduce the pollution in Budha Nallah with estimated cost of Rs. 8.95 crores is under progress, the department further apprised the meeting.Further, the Chief Minister was apprised that 65% of the work on the main Shahpurkandi Dam, which was restarted after over 4 years of suspension by the J&K government, had been completed. The work of Power House has been started and civil works will be completed by June, 2023 and power works will be completed by July, 2024. Power Generation of this project will start in August, 2024, yielding direct benefit to the tune of Rs. 800 crore (Rs. 475 crore from power generation of Shahpurkandi and peaking of RSD, Rs. 144 cr additional power benefit from UBDC and Rs. 228 cr from augmentation of irrigation in UBDC system.)
Other projects currently in progress under the Punjab Water Resources Management and Development Corporation Limited include:
• Construction of field channels on Kotla Branch Part-II System, resulting in an area of 142658 Hectares being brought under better irrigation facilities.
• Installation and Re-energisation of 72 No. Alternate Deep Tubewells in 6 Blocks of 4 Districts of Punjab, bringing 3210 Hectares under assured irrigation.
A new project for installation and energisation of 502 no. new deep tubewells for Irrigation purpose in different blocks of Kandi area in Districts S.A.S Nagar, Rupnagar, SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur, and Pathankot is also proposed to be taken up during the current financial year and is likely to be completed in four years. With the completion of this project, an area of 21028 Hectares will be brought under assured irrigation.