The government will promote use of steel pipes for irrigation instead of canals, in a move aimed at cutting down land acquisition costs and promoting innovation, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said. Gadkari, who holds the portfolio of road transport, highways, shipping, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation, was yesterday addressing a Moroccan delegation led by its Minister for Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water Abdelkader Amara.
Strengthening ties with the African nation is a priority for India, he also said.
“In one part of India, we have lots of water and the other faces shortages. Water conservation is important here and we are encouraging innovations and technologies. Now, we have taken a decision that in place of the canal system, we will use steel pipes in supplying water for irrigation. We are saving the cost of land acquisition,” Gadkari said.
Land acquisition, he explained, has become a costly proposition here and using steel pipes will lead to not only sufficient savings but more than doubling of the output.
“We are accepting lots of technologies in the water resources ministry. We are encouraging drip irrigation. We are now planning for river connectivity. We will take water where we need it,” Gadkari said.
According to the minister, India is keen on bolstering ties in highways, shipping and agriculture with neighbouring countries, which also include a 6,000 mw Pancheshwar multi-purpose project in Nepal.
“We are in a position to provide all types of successful practices for making of DPRs (detailed project reports) and other things from a professional agency. We are conducting a big dam in Afghanistan,” Gadkari said further.
Morocco is situated at a distance of barely 14 km of Europe and “is really a good potential area” for projects.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded highest priority to infrastructure development in the country, which includes Rs 7-lakh crore Bharatmala project for highways and Rs 14-lakh crore Sagarmala project for port-led economic development.
Earlier, Gadkari and the Moroccan delegation discussed matters relating to India-Morocco bilateral cooperation in road transport, water resources and marine sectors.
The two countries also signed and exchanged an MoU on cooperation in water resources, agreement on synergy between Indian Maritime University (IMU) and the Higher Institute of Maritime Studies of Morocco, training between the National Ports Agency of Morocco and the IMU and cooperation Framework Agreement between the Institute of Training in Engines and Road Maintenance of Morocco and Indian Academy of Highway Engineers.