Badal seeks clearance of central irrigation projects

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Chandigarh, Jan 22 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called on Union Minister of Water Resources Saifddin Soz at New Delhi and sought an early clearance of various pending irrigation projects.

Mr Badal asked Prof Soz to recommend the concept note on groundwater management and eradication of water logging in the state to the Ministry of Finance so that the Punjab government could avail of non lending technical assistance from the World Bank to execute this gigantic task.

The Chief Minister also asked Prof Soz to remove the one-for-one restriction for funding of projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme and Command Area Development programme, which was a bottleneck in taking up new projects for execution.

Mr Badal said the Minister had already approved the Rs 190 crore Sirhind Feeder Part II and the other projects including Rs 125 crore Abohar Branch and Bathinda Branch would also be cleared soon.

Later, Mr Badal also called on Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and urged him to revise the norms and criteria for identification of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the country. He also demanded a fresh survey to prepare authentic data on the subject.

Dr Ahluwalia assured the Chief Minister that he would certainly look into the demand of revising the norms for the identification of BPL families to the advantage of Punjab which had a fairly large SC population.


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