Bhagwant Mann meets Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, seeks special package to strengthen canal system in Punjab

Bhagwant Mann

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday sought kind intervention of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to allocate special funds for rejuvenation of the canal system in the state.

The chief minister, who called on Shekhawat, underlined the need for a special package to strengthen and repair the existing canal system in the state. He said that Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) that was constructed in the pre-independence era is in dire straits now, due to which farmers are facing a lot of problems. Bhagwant Mann apprised the union minister that even the canals constructed after the independence needs to be strengthened and upgraded for which the Union government must allocate special package to the state.

The chief minister said that it is the need of the hour as the food growers of the state, who have played a key role in making the country self-reliant in food production, have to face a lot of problems due to the dilapidated canal system in the state. He sought the intervention of the Union minister for clearing the proposals submitted by the state government in this regard. Bhagwant Mann said that it will help in enhancing the water carrying capacity of canals and benefit the farmers of the state.

He also apprised the Union minister that the state government has started an ambitious project of cleaning of Buddha Nullah, a seasonal tributary of river Sutlej, which runs almost parallel to the river through Ludhiana district and ultimately merges with the river. He said that the total length of Nullah for its entire stretch is 47.55 km, out of which 14 km passes through Ludhiana city and bisects it into two parts. Mann said that the state government has embarked a project worth Rs 850 crore for cleaning of this Nullah which includes construction of new STPs and CETPs besides upgradation of existing ones.

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Likewise, the chief minister said that the state government is also releasing 200 cusecs of fresh water in Buddha Nullah. He informed the Union minister that 54 per cent of this project has been completed and it will be accomplished by March 2023.

Meanwhile, the Union minister assured Bhagwant Mann of full support and cooperation. He said that the Union government will look into the demands of the Punjab government.