Chandigarh, December 7, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
Punjab Soil and Water Conservation Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra, on Thursday, directed department officials to aim for a twofold increase in treated water usage for irrigation, besides focusing on leveraging pond water to reduce dependence on underground water sources.
S. Jauramajra, since assuming the charge of Soil and Water Conservation Department last week, today reviewed the working of department in a maiden meeting at Mahatama Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, here.
The Soil and Water Conservation Minister, while emphasizing the Government’s firm commitment towards welfare of farming community of the state, stressed on ways and means to develop new techniques and strategies for saving precious water resources in agriculture sector and at same time maximizing farmer income.
S. Jauramajra asked the officials to chalk out new programmes and intensify ongoing water conservation and management works, stressing on maximizing surface water use by increasing canal and treated water use in agriculture.
He also laid special emphasis on using village pond water as it would not only reduce ground water drawl but will also improve village ecosystems as regular recirculation of pond water reduces environmental pollution.
Reviewing the watershed scheme in Kandi region, the Cabinet Minister stressed on improving livelihood of landless and women community by providing them financial assistance and trainings and also to provide support on plantations in convergence with Horticulture department.
The departmental officers made a presentation to the minister highlighting the works being implemented by the department and stressed the fact that the major thrust area of department is increasing irrigation water use efficiency and developing alternate and new surface water based irrigation water sources for irrigation because almost 94% of state’s water resources are being used in agriculture sector alone.
The officers apprised the minister about various new initiatives being planned by the department in near future. It is pertinent to mention here that major works of department include underground pipeline system, treated water use in agriculture, drip and sprinkler systems, rain water harvesting, check dam construction watershed based programmes besides others.
On department’s proposal to initiate solar pumpset scheme for farmers opting for micro irrigation, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra called upon the officers to offer a complete solution to farmer by including farm water storage pond along with micro and solar systems so that farmer can get water at the time of his choice and also at the time when there is requirement for irrigation.
The Soil and Water Conservation Minister called for implementing all programmes in a transparent way and at same time ensuring that quality control standards are maintained at each level. The department’s proposed restructuring was also discussed during the meeting.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Mr. Mohinder Singh Saini, Chief Conservator of Soils, Punjab along with all district level officers from department.