New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved providing Central Assistance of Rs. 620.42 Cr. and Rs. 205.758 Cr. for implementation of relining of Rajasthan Feeder Canal and Sirhind Feeder Canal respectively over five years (2018-19 to 2022-23) for Relining of Sirhind Feeder from RD 119700 to 447927 and relining of Rajasthan Feeder from RD 179000to 496000 of Punjab.
- Implementation of these twin projects would help in addressing the problem of water-logging in 84800 Ha of land in Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepur districts in South-West Punjab.
- Implementation of these projects would address the problem of water logging in South-West Punjab and enhance the flows/ water availability in the two canals.
- Farmers in the area would be benefitted due to stabilisation / improved irrigation in 98,739 Ha of land due to relining of Rajasthan Feeder and 69,086 Ha due to relining of Sirhind Feeder.
- Funding for CA to the Rajasthan Feeder and Sirhind feeder shall be made through NABARD under existing system for funding of 99 PMKSY-AIBP projects under LTIF.
- In addition to existing monitoring mechanism for projects by Central Water Commission, an Expert Project Review Committee may be constituted to oversee the overall implementation of these projects.
- The approved cost of relining of Sirhind Feeder Canal is Rs. 671.478 Cr and that of relining of Rajasthan Feeder Canal are Rs. 1305.267 Cr, at 2015 PL. Of the total estimated cost, Rs. 826.168 Cr would be provided as Central Assistance (Rs. 205.758 Cr for Sirhind Feeder and Rs. 620.41 Cr for Rajasthan Feeder).
- Investment Clearance of Revised Cost Estimates amounting to Rs.671.478 crore and Rs.1305.267 crore for Relining of Sirhind Feeder and Relining of Rajasthan Feeder respectively have been accorded on 6th April 2016.
- The projects were visited by a team under Chairman CWC during 2016 and by another team under Sh. A. B. Pandya, former Chairman, CWC during 2017. They recommended remedial works to be taken up. The Punjab Government also conveyed its financial concurrence on 26.04.2018.
Sirhind and Rajasthan Feeders take off upstream of Harike Headworks and flow through Punjab before crossing over to Rajasthan. The twin canals have a common bank and were constructed in the 1960s as lined (brick) channels to convey water to command areas in Punjab and Rajasthan.
The Government of Punjab has reported considerable seepage loss due to damages in the lining of both Sirhind and Rajasthan Feeders. As a result, apart from reduced flows in these canals, the adjacent areas have been affected by waterlogging causing huge agricultural losses.
The project would mitigate the water logging problem and enhance the flows/ water availability in the two canals.