Identify relining of canals to check seepage: Punjab CM


Punjab Chief Minister 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 the 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 virtual conference, the Chief Minister asked the department to expedite the ongoing canal relining projects, including the relining of Rajasthan Feeder (41 km), Sirhind Feeder (45 km), as well as the rehabilitation of Bis 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 crore, the Chief Minister said that 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 14,500 kilometers. In the year 2021, approx. 2,800 km drains will be cleaned for Rs 40 crores and flood protection works amounting to Rs 60 cr will be executedA before the onset of monsoon.

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 per cent of the work on the main Shahpurkandi Dam, which was restarted after over four years of suspension by the Jammu and Kashmir government, had been completed.

The work of powerhouse has been started and civil works will be completed by June 2023 and power works will be completed by July 2024. Power generation of the project will start in August 2024, yielding direct benefit to the tune of Rs 800 crore.