GOI TO PLAN FOR AQUIFER MAPPING OF THE COUNTRY TO IMPROVE QUALITY AS WELL AS QUANTITY OF GROUND WATER- MIHIR SHAH
Chandigarh, July 3Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today demanded special central assistance for tackling the grave issue of water logging in the state.
Disclosing this today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Mr. Badal was presiding over a meeting with a high level team of Planning Commission of India led by its member Mr. Mihir Shah here at Chief Minister’s Office.
Taking part in the deliberations, Mr. Badal asked the Planning Commission team, which had visited waterlogged areas yesterday, to include a concrete and time bound action program for implementing effective water management system in Punjab to resolve issues like water logging, depletion of ground water level and elimination of solid harmful metals like uranium from water.
The Chief Minister directed the Irrigation Department to submit a detailed project to the Planning Commission team regarding these issues so that team could further submit its recommendations for holistic planning in the 12th plan of the country. Expressing gratitude for their visit, Mr. Badal said that nobody could realize the gravity of the situation and the ground realities of particular issues being faced by the state, just while sitting in a Delhi based office. Every problem on this earth had a solution if tackled in a willful and serious manner, added Mr. Badal.
On the occasion, Mr. Mihir Shah said that he and his team members were fully agreed to the alarming situation of water logging in the state and after their visit to the affected areas, they observed that the situation was worst than they were thinking. He assured that the team in its recommendations for the 12th five year plan of the country would recommend a comprehensive plan to sort out issues related to water management in the state on short, medium and long term basis. He said that in the next five year plan, efforts would be made for mapping the aquifer in the country to improve quality as well as quantity of ground water. He also informed that to tackle the saline water issue, Centre could provide financial assistance to the farmers for fishery.
Mr. Shah also assured the Chief Minister that he would recommend the immediate release of Central assistance for the lining of Rajasthan and Sirhind canals to check the seepage.
Speaking on the occasion Punjab State Farmers Commission Chairman Dr. G.S. Kalkat raised the issue of diversification in the state and demanded the to chalk out a plan to ensure proper marketing of the produce of less water consuming crops. He also demanded that to promote dairy farming improved breed Buffalos must be introduced through a Central sponsored scheme.
Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Chief Secretary Mr. Rakesh Singh, Financial Commissioner Revenue Mr. NS Kang, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. SK Sandhu, Principal Secretary Irrigation Mr. KBS Sindhu, Principal Secretary Health Ms Vini Mahajan, Secretary Power Mr. Anirudh Tewari and Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr. KJS Cheema besides the senior officers of other departments.