Punjab govt mulls ban on new tubewell connections and water courses
Chandigarh – According to highly placed sources, the Punjab Government is likely to ban releasing tubewell connections and construction of water course outlets in the state. Following it, the government has set aside the out of-turn tubewell connection Scheme even with full electricity bills with connection charges, which were to be borne by the farmers. According to sources, steps are being taken to stop the flood irrigation. Under the new scheme, which will be introduced shortly, there will be drip and fountain irrigation system. Moreover, to get grant from the World Bank and the Government of India, 30 per cent area will be mandatory under the new scheme, therefore the government is going to change its earlier policy. There are 12.76 lakh electricity-operated tubewells in Punjab and approximately 1.50 tubewells are run on diesel. The total area under cultivation is 42 lakh hectares and around 11 lakh hectare area is being irrigated through canal water. One lakh applications are pending under priority categories. Of the 141 agricultural development blocks in the state, 102 fall in the dark Zone where the underground water level is 200 feet. The water level is depleting day by day.On last September 4, the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. (PSPCL) had announced the new policy for those who wanted ‘tatkaal’ and non-subsidised tubewell connections. While the farmers do not have to pay for installation and power bills under the existing policy, the waiting period would be extended to two years. The new policy has been introduced on the recommendations of the Punjab Energy Department. Under this policy, the bill for electricity was to be paid by the farmers. There were provisions in the new policy, in which a farmer whose application was in waiting, can shift his application to the new and non-subsidised scheme.
According to sources, the Punjab Water Resources Management and Development Corporation Ltd., earlier known as Punjab State Tubewell Corporation, has been asked to prepare the new project of irrigation in which outlets of water courses are not needed. Sources said that under the new project, there is a system for 30 percent cultivation through drip and fountain irrigation in the first phase of the project. Sources added that according to the policy of the World Bank, in future the water course outlets and tubewells can be talk of the past. On the other hand, seeing the depleting level of water and Rs 6,000 crore annual subsidy for free power to farmers, the state government is to promote a new method of irrigation and prevent the releasing of new tubewell connections, rapidly.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook