Punjab irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, on Tuesday, inspected the ongoing work on the second phase of Kandi canal and also visited the sites where the canal needs repair.
He asked the officials to complete the canal up to 93.75 RD by March 31 to release water in it and assured that funds for its repair would be released soon. The canal, which starts from the Mukerian hydel channel is complete up to 59.40 RD. Work on the second phase started in 2004, but funds have always remained a problem.
The project envisages irrigation facilities to the entire Kandi belt from Mukerian to Balachaur. So far, a sum of nearly Rs 300 crore has been spent on the project. Sekhon also visited the 'Bet' area along with chief parliamentary secretary Sohan Singh Thandal and principal secretary, irrigation, Sarvesh Kaushal. He held a meeting with the officials at the mini secretariat to take stock of the ongoing projects and know the demands of the people.
He revealed that the state government had waived maintenance, repair and operation charges on the state tubewells in Kandi and non-Kandi belts falling in Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Gurdaspur and Nawanshahr districts. To ensure proper maintenance of these tubewells for seven years, a condition to this effect has already been incorporated in the tenders invited for this purpose, he added.
The irrigation minister said that a three-member panel comprising himself, industries and technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal and principal secretary, irrigation, Sarvesh Kaushal would prepare a master plan for lift irrigation in the Kandi area as a viable alternative to traditional mode of tubewell irrigation. An assessment to use a lift irrigation technique to draw water from the Swan stream for irrigation in the Bet area would also be made, the minister added.
Sekhon revealed that 687 new deep tubewells were installed in the Kandi, while 112 were in the pipeline. Nara check dam in Hoshiarpur district would also be completed by March 2015.