Punjab government has developed a comprehensive plan for controlling floods in the state. In a bid to make maximum use of surface water resources and minimize the loss to life and property due to floods and water logging the government has identified projects worth Rs 3469 crore and submitted a detailed estimate to the union government for approval.
The major projects which are now under consideration of Ministry of Water Resources and Central Water Commission are Relining of Rajasthan/Sirhind Canal worth Rs. 1260 crore, Major Canal Rehabilitation Project-Rs. 552 crore, Flood Protection Works on River Ghaggar and 27 Other Flood Protection Works worth about Rs. 330 crore. These projects are important for Punjab which has a network of 14500 km long canals in the state and being one of the oldest networks in country has already outlived its life.
On its part the Punjab government has so far sanctioned projects of about Rs 377.43 crore for carrying out works concerning flood management. The Chief Minister has also approved Rs. 132 crore for flood protection works and cleaning of drains in all 22 districts across Punjab and has asked the Deputy Commissioners. Out of Rs.132 crore, an amount of Rs. 100 crore was to be released from the state funds and Rs.32 crore to be taken from already approved Rs. 960 crore by the Union government to tackle water logging in the vulnerable areas of south-west Punjab.
A sum to the tune of Rs. 23 crore has already been spent for flood control at Satluj, Ravi, Beas and Ghaggar rivers since 2013. This amount has been used for maintenance and renewal of Rajbahas and Minors falling in concerned areas through maintenance societies formed on canal division level. Apart from construction, widening of dams on Ghaggar, canalization of sakki nulla, and closing and cementing gaps in rivers, the work for flood stoppage has been taken up on a war footing. Besides developing an effective mechanism for flood control, this has resulted in improving irrigation facilities in the area giving a major benefit to farmers and those living in the surrounding areas.
New projects under way
The Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has also given a go head for the upgradation of gate and gearing of head works and other regulators of canals which were in dilapidated condition for long. The work for up-gradation of gate and gearing of head works and regulators of canals particularly at Ropar, Madhopur and Harike has been taken up in a major way. Following directions of Chief Minister, the state Irrigation department has prepared a detailed proposal worth Rs 85 crore for which NABARD has been approached. With an objective to give boost to the projects for controlling floods, the chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought early approval of different irrigation projects worth Rs 2943 which are pending with the union government. In his request to the Union Minister for Water Resources (MoWR) Uma Bharti, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has requested for the re-lining of Rajasthan and Sirhind feeders at a cost of Rs. 2125.69 crore besides Swan River Flood Management worth Rs. 284.98 crore. Badal has also sought release of funds of Rs. 161.04 crore for flood protection project under river management activities and water related to border areas. He also sought clearance of the project for the channelization of river Ghaggar by the Ghaggar Standing Committee involving a cost of Rs. 135.63 crore and release of funds to the tune of Rs. 46.12 crore for flood protection works along River Beas under Flood Management Project. Badal has also been insisting up on centre for approval to the project for channelization of Sakki/Kiran Nallah. With an estimated cost of about Rs. 190 crore, the project once executed would help saving the life and property of the people residing in border areas from the floods.