Chandigarh, Nov 7 (UNI) The central government has agreed to provide an additional Rs 100 crore to Punjab for tackling the water logging problem affecting large tracts of agricultural land in the Muktsar district of the state.
This amount is in addition to the Rs 550 already sanctioned by NABARD for this purpose.
An assurance to this effect was given by Union Finance Minister P Chidambram during the course of his meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in New Delhi this evening.
The Finance Minister also agreed to immediately release Rs 75 crore to help the state in starting its prestigious Adarsh School Scheme at the start of the next academic session to provide quality education in the rural areas, the CMs media advisor Harcharan Bains disclosed.
The Finance Minister also assured Mr Badal that the World Bank would be approached for giving appropriate advice to Punjab on water logging.
Mr Badal told the Union Minister that checking water logging and the falling water table was necessary for enhancing the agricultural growth rate. The Chief Minister pointed out that Punjab did not have adequate surface water and was heavily dependent on groundwater extraction.
The declining watertable in about 128 out of 141 blocks of the state was a cause of worry alongwith water logging in Muktsar and parts of Ferozepur districts, Mr Badal explained to the Finance Minister.
The Chief Minister also drew the Union Finance Minister's attention to the efforts of the state government to rehabilitate and rejuvenate the canal infrastructure to ensure optimal utilisation of surface water and to conserve and artificially recharge the ground water.