Punjab to take up water seepage from canal with Rajasthan

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Muktsar, Oct 18 (UNI) Concerned about the water logging problem in the Malwa belt, the Punjab government has decided to approach the Rajasthan government for stopping seepage from the Indira Gandhi canal, that takes waters of the Sutlej to the desert state.

" The issue of finding a permanent solution to the seepage, including water proofing of the Rajasthan canal will be take up soon with Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje", Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said while touring the water logged villages of his home district with a three member team of the Central Groundwater Board (CGB).

Mr Badal made these comments after the CGB team at the conclusion of its two day tour of the water logged areas contended that seepage from the Indira Gandhi canal was primarily responsible for the problem that had destroyed crops in a large area in the district.

According to the chief minister a expert team from the Netherlands had toured the area during his pervious tenure and had suggested that brick lining of the canal would not alone halt the problem of seepage of water from the canal into the fields. The team had then suggested that the canal should be lined with a water proof plastic layer.

Mr Badal is hopeful that Ms Raje would share the cost of water proofing, which is expected to be quite expensive. Both the Punjab and Rajasthan government are sharing the maintainence cost of the canal in their respective areas.

Ms Raje had a couple of months back travelled along the Indira Gandhi canal and had then asked the Punjab government to repair and clean certain portions of the canal as the required or earmarked quantity of water was not reaching Rajasthan. She had then taken up the matter with Mr Badal.

The CGB has identified as 63 villages of Muktsar where the water logging problem exists and have suggested that the government should immediately take steps to pump out the water from the agricultural fields. The state irrigation department has already set up 17 points for pumping out the water from the fields.

Mr Badal on his part has assured to provide adequate funds for tackling the problem before the April-May sowing season next year.

The CGB team consisted of Sanjay Pandey, Sushil Gupta and Sanjay Marwaha. The team will submitted a detailed report to the state government later.


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