Union minister of rural development Jairam Ramesh has cleared the Rs 2,246-crore project to tackle waterlogging problem in the state. In a letter dated Feburary 28, Jairam Ramesh has informed Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal about the project based on the recommendations of the expert group set up under the chairmanship of Mihir Shah, member, Planning Commission. Shah had also visited waterlogging areas of Punjab, including Lambi, last year.
The letter read that the project was for southwest districts of Punjab including Faridkot, Ferozepur, Muktsar and Bathinda. The centre will contribute Rs 1,684 crore, which makes 75% of the total cost of the project. The state is supposed to mee the rest of the cost.
The focus of the project will be lining of the Rajasthan and Sirhind feeder canals and the construction of surface and subsurface drains in the region.
Besides, funds for other measures against waterlogging such as bio-drainage, dairy development, micro-irrigation with solar energy and development of fisheries will be generated through dovetailing state and central government schemes.
Interestingly, three months ago, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had also announced that state government had prepared a Rs 3,277-crore project to tackle the problem of waterlogging by employing a two directional scheme in the state, which would be started in a month and it was expected to be completed before the next rainy season. The announcement of the project was made during his 'sangat darshan' programme in Lambi constituency on December 7, 2013.