To save the ever-depleting groundwater level of Punjab and to provide better livelihood to the people of low mountainous areas of Kandi belt,the states first lift irrigation project is being executed in Hoshiarpur district.
The pilot project,worth Rs 31.58 crore,is set to benefit farmers of 14 villages Kandi area the most backward area of Punjab. While an area of around 700 hectares will be cultivated under this project,desalted water will be used for drip irrigation.
Under the project,water will be lifted from the Kandi canal and stored in nearby tanks. After desalting,the water will be stored in a 70-feet high tank. This stored water will be used for drip irrigation for the cultivation of vegetables and fruits in nearby villages. In Kandi areas,most of which is sub-mountainous belt,irrigation through tubewell or canals is not possible.
Out of the total project cost,the first installment Rs 6.38 crore has already been released. To implement the project,the government has hired a private firm ZEN irrigation Company. The company will also provide maintenance services to the project for seven years. After the successful completion of the pilot project,lift irrigation will also be introduced in Pathankot and other Kandi areas.
When contacted,Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Irrigation) Sohan Singh Thandal said: There is lot of green fertile area in the low mountain areas of Kandi belt. Due to lack of irrigation facilities,such areas are being wasted. Now,with this project,these areas can be irrigated.
With the launch of lift irrigation facilities in this area,farmers will be able to contribute in the field of diversified agriculture and their financial condition will also improve, he added.
According to sources in the irrigation department,Himachal Pradesh has already implemented the project. A team from Punjab had visited Himachal to look into the working of the project,following which it was implemented in here.