In a bid to provide permanent succor from water-logging and ensure optimum use of canal water, the relining project of Sirhind feeder and Rajasthan feeder would be completed in two years. Punjab has completed the relining work of 17-KM-long section of the Sirhind Feeder at a cost of Rs.80.51 crore in districts Sri Muktsar Sahib, Faridkot and Ferozepur, and remaining work of relining on the canal would be taken up during the planned canal closure from January 18 to February 22, 2021. The total cost of the relining project would be Rs.671.478 crore.
Punjab Water Resources Minister Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said, while addressing a press conference at Punjab Bhawan here on Tuesday, the relining works of Rajasthan Feeder would also be taken up in two canal closures, i.e., 2021-22 and 2022-23 with proposed length of 47 KMs and 49 KMs in each year at a cost of Rs. 1200 crore. These projects would prevent water seepage which will resolve the waterlogging problem in the south-western districts of the state, besides increasing efficiency of canal irrigation, he added.
Apart from this, the Water Resources department has spent Rs.30 crore for cleaning of 7000KMs Distributaries/Minors during 2020 to provide the water to the tail-end farmers. Drains in the length of 2020 KMs out of total 8136KMs were cleaned at a cost of Rs.26 crore and 48 flood protection works were executed at a cost of Rs.24 crore in the year 2020.
To give benefits to the Doaba region, a project of Rehabilitation of Bist Doab Canal system at a cost of Rs.462.57 crore was approved and the work is likely to be completed in 2021, said he. The work for distribution system of Kandi Canal Stage-II (Hoshiarpur to Balachaur) was executed during 2019-20, and now it is 90.53% completed, said the minister, adding that after completion, it would provide the irrigation facilities to 29527 hectares area of 218 villages in districts Hoshiarpur and S.B.S. Nagar.
Mr. Sarkaria said that two Lift scheme have been approved for Sri Anandpur Sahib at a cost of Rs.24.52 crore to provide irrigation facilities. Rehabilitation, Renovation and Modernization of Lahore Branch System along with allied works at a cost of Rs.327 crore would be executed in districts Gurdaspur and Amritsar during the F.Y. 2020-21. With the implementation of this project, approximately 150 villages will be benefitted, the Minister said.
He said that Punjab Government also constitutes Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) for conservation and effective management of the state’s critical water resources.
SPECIAL PROJECTS FOR BETTER IRRIGATION FACILITIES
Mr. Sarkaria said that a project for construction of field channels on Kotla Branch Part-II System at a cost of Rs. 477.19 crore is in progress and is likely to be completed by 31-03-2022. With the completion of this project, an area of 142658 Hectares would be brought under better irrigation facilities.
A project for Installation and Re-energisation of 72 Alternate Deep Tubewells in 6 Blocks of 4 Districts of Punjab at a cost of Rs. 30.21 crore, is in progress. The project will be completed by 31-03-2021 and it would provide assured irrigation to 3600 Hectares on completion, said that Minister, while adding that the department brought another project for installation and energisation of 502 new deep tubewells for irrigation purpose in different blocks of Kandi area in districts S.A.S. Nagar, Roopnagar, SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Pathankot at a cost of Rs.195.91 crore. The project would be taken up during current financial year and is likely to be completed in two years. On completion, this project would provide assured irrigation to 21028 Hectares.
60% WORK OF SHAHPURKANDI MAIN DAM COMPLETED
Mr. Sarkaria said that the Water Resources department has completed 60% work of Shahpurkandi Main Dam, despite the COVID situation during the year of 2020. The project will hopefully start generating power in 2023, said he, while adding that on completion, this project would generate 208MW power besides letting Ranjit sagar dam to run as a peaking station. It would also provide intensive irrigation facilities in 37,000 hectares in Punjab and J&K, he added. The work of Power house will be started in January 2021. The direct benefit from this project shall be worth Rs.800 crore (Rs. 475 crore from power generation of Shahpurkandi and peaking of RSD, Rs. 144 crore additional power benefit from UBDC and Rs. 228 crore from augmentation of irrigation in UBDC system), he added.
MINING DEPT TO LAUNCH WEB PORTAL TO ENABLE CONSUMERS TO BUY SAND/GRAVEL ONLINE
For better monitoring of mining activities, Punjab Mines and Geology Minister Mr. Sarkaria said, the department is developing a Web portal which will be launched shortly. The portal would enable the consumers to buy sand/gravel online from the mining sites of their choice at the notified rate of Rs. 9/CFT. Under ease of doing business initiative, the department has also made provisions for online issuance of various permissions like permits for soil excavation in general as well as for BKO’s, and registration of crushers etc.
The Minister said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led state government has formulated Punjab Sand and Gravel Policy, 2018 to bring transparency in sand mining sector. Under the policy the state government grants contracts by auction of mining blocks in strategically established clusters through progressive bidding instead of the earlier process of auction by individual mines.
The department had conducted auction of mining blocks in the May-June 2019 and had allotted 196 mining sites having annual extractable quantity of 350 Lakh MT in seven Mining Blocks through E-Auction for 3 years, said he, while adding that annual contract value of these contracts is Rs. 306 crore and a revenue of Rs.110 crore and Rs.105 crore has been received during the year 2019-20 and 2020-21 (up to December 31, 2020) respectively. Rs.80 crore is likely to be generated from mining till March this year.
Punjab government has also decided for desilting of rivers is to be allotted to the existing contractors of respective mining blocks. The drainage wing of Water Resources Department had identified 78 desilting sites in 6 blocks having 274.22 Lakhs MT desilting mining/mineral, he added.