To find out the permanent solution to waterlogging and drainage of water from south west parts of state a high-powered state-level committee constituted by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday met with officials of the state irrigation department.
The committee met in the chairmanship of Sarvesh Kaushal, principal secretary, irrigation. BS Dhaliwal, technical adviser to CM; JS Samra, CEO, National Rain fed Area Authority (NRAA); Rajesh Kumar, former chairman, Central Water commission (CWC); and chief engineers of all departments concerned were also present in the meeting.
BS Dhaliwal said, "This committee has been entrusted to prepare of an exhaustive surface and underground drainage infrastructure master plan for waterlogged areas of southern Punjab for identification of the extent of problem, causes of the problem, remedies, coordinated action plan and costs in the state. Committee may get help from remote sensing system of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and GPS-based contour sheets to design the drainage system in the region."
He asked the departments to identify sheet flow and causeway flow places on the topography for the natural flow of water by gravity. "The committee is collecting data and required information in specific format from all departments concerned so that final reports could be prepared as early as possible. I had directed Panchayati Raj department to revive village ponds. As per PAU research report, pond water is fit for agriculture and to develop schemes to use this water for irrigation." added Dhaliwal.
Earlier, Sarvesh Kaushal said, "The committee would submit the report within 30 days. Earlier, drainage system was designed to evacuate seepage water only but now it will be planned to evacuate surface water, pond water and escape water released from canals also."
JS Samra, CEO, NRAA said, "Waterlogging is result of seepage from Rajasthan feeder and Sirhind feeder canals. Detailed master plan would be made in which besides revamping of drainage system, cropping pattern, irrigation methods, aquaculture, adaptation of animal Husbandry and others will be taken up. Finding of this committee will also helpful for some other states in the country."
Chief engineer, drainage, Vinod Chaudhary said, "Drainage department follows Indian Standards (IS) Codes for developing new drains but if the committee will ask, the department may change the IS codes too, to provide permanent solution of waterlogging."