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Mann Govt fully committed to optimal utilization and effective management of natural resources: Dr. Nijjar

Chandigarh, January 2, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
The Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is fully committed to the optimal and effective management of available surface and ground water resources in all the districts of the state. Working in this direction, 44,487 hectares of land has been benefited by using Rs 153.94 crore since March 2022 to conserve surface and underground water and make its best use.

Divulging in this regard, Soil & Water Conservation and Local Government Minister, Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar said that at present, the state has very high depletion of ground water with 117 out of 150 blocks declared Over-exploited.

Punjab Government has been implementing a number of programmes that aim at mitigating harmful effects of these problems with appropriate activities for judicious use and effective management of available surface & ground water resources in all districts of the State.

Dr. Nijjar said that present State Government has boosted these programmes with higher budgetary support and timely availability of funds to the department. Four new schemes with 100% state funding have been added in the First Annual Budget 2022-23 to not only provide financial assistance to farmers for the projects of Underground Pipeline System but also to install innovative projects like small check-dams, utilization of pond water for irrigation and Roof-top rainwater harvesting.

Cabinet Minister said that from March 2022 onwards, a number of soil & water conservation activities have been carried out to benefit 22,485 hectares by utilizing Rs 76.87 Cr. Technical & Financial assistance has been provided to farmers for installation of projects of Underground Pipeline System for judicious use of irrigation water on 18,305 hectares. Rs. 47.66 Cr. has been utilized to provide financial aid in the form of subsidy @90% on Community projects in canal command areas and @50% on individual projects in Tubewell command areas.

Minister said that Subsidy of 80% (90% for small/marginal/SC/Women farmers) to the tune of 8.28 Cr. has been provided to farmers for adoption of highly efficient Micro Irrigation (Drip & Sprinklers) on 1,953 hectares. Four Water Harvesting-cum-recharging structures have been constructed by utilizing 1.21 Cr. for water storage, erosion control, life-saving irrigation and natural recharging to benefit 523 hectares in sub-mountainous kandi area.

He said that Irrigation infrastructure has been laid out for productive use of treated water of 7 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) for irrigating 1,409 hectares by spending 9.73 Cr. An amount of Rs. 9.99 Cr. has been spent on other soil & water conservation activities to benefit 295 hectares in various districts.

Apart from this, He said that for implementation of Various irrigation Schemes and judicious use of natural resources 99 vacancies have been filled in the department.

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