Farmers of Nangla village in the district have managed to move away from the tag of a dependent rain-fed agriculture region to an irrigated region, thanks to the laying of the Underground Pipeline System (UGPS).
Large agricultural areas of Nangla, 15 km from Talwandi Sabo, was just desert before the introduction of the centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) scheme.
Most farmers have small land holdings are poor and it was impossible to grow crops due to a large quantity of alkali salts coming forth on the alkali surface.
Punjab soil and water conservation, department chief Mohinderpal Singh said that the scheme was implemented in the state in 2010-11."An extensive 8-km RCC underground pipeline of 700 mm diameter was laid to ferry 3.72 cusecs of canal water for irrigating the fields of farmers of Nangla village from the Mirjeana Minor."
"The total cost of the project was Rs 1.36 crore, of which Rs 1.22 crore (90 per cent) was provided as subsidy from RKVY. The rest of the 10 per cent was contributed by the poor farmers as labour in the form of laying the pipeline."
He added that after the execution of the project, 1,222 acres received assured irrigated water and regular crops could be grown there .The project benefited 568 farmers, including 30 SC beneficiaries.
He said that after implementation of the project, the yield of wheat doubled from 10 quintals to 20 quintals per acre. Farmers could also diversify into cotton, fodder and vegetables.He also claimed that land prices had gone up and farmers were also able to shift to supplementary dairy items like dairying.
"The UGPS has not only helped in saving of farm land under katcha channels but also saved labour and diesel costs. It is a model village and its success can easily be replicated to other villages," said Singh.