Chetan Singh Jauramajra spearheads mission ‘Canal water to every field’, holds meetings with MLA’S to gather ground information : Under mission ‘Canal water to every field’ and to reduce reliance on underground water, Punjab Water Resources and Soil & Water Conservation Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra is actively engaging with local MLAs, district administration and concerned departments to collect essential on-ground information.
During the recent meetings with MLAs of various constituencies at Patiala, Ludhiana, Moga and Amritsar, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra has issued clear instructions to the officials concerned that canal water to each field should be ensured in a stipulated time frame, as the use of ground water in the state can be reduced only by maximum use of canal water.
Chetan Singh Jauramajra informed that groundwater resources of the state are declining at an alarming rate with 117 out of 150 blocks comprising nearly 80% of state’s geographical area already under over-exploited category, stressing on need to develop alternate surface water-based irrigation water sources and also maximizing canal water usage to arrest declining groundwater resources of the state.
He said that Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann led government is making continuous efforts to save the underground water for future generations, while the previous dispensations kept avoiding this serious issue, which resulted in near destruction of the entire canal water infrastructure. He asserted that the Mann government will bring the canal structure fully on track, and upcoming Kharif season would witness the restoration of the canal water system, ensuring its availability to tale end and every field.
Stressing on the need to utilize treated water for irrigation purposes, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra said that the state government, under its efforts aimed at preventing further depletion of underground water and to reduce the agricultural input costs for the farmers, has set target to double the treated water usage to 600 MLD by end of current financial year, thus benefitting 20,000 hectares of agriculture land. The state is at present utilizing 320 MLD for irrigation, he added.
The Water Resources Minister has also instructed the officials to vacate the illegal encroachments on the water courses so that the farmers can get canal water. He also urged the farmers to vacate the illegal encroachments from the water courses on their own, as these water courses will irrigate their fields.
The Cabinet Minister said that the government has acquired ten large machines for the cleaning of the water courses and drains, which resulted in 60 percent cost saving. He said that if the need arises, additional machinery will be purchased to complete the work.
He directed the officials to clean the water courses and drains and complete the ongoing projects in a timely manner, adding that demarcation of every drain should be done immediately after the harvest of the crop.