Badal seeks help for waterlogged areas
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Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday demanded a special central assistance for the waterlogged areas of Muktsar district, due to which vast swathes of land have turned barren.
Presiding over a high-level meeting with a Planning Commission team that visited the affected areas on Monday, Badal demanded a concrete, time-bound programme to develop an effective water management system in the state to deal with such problems. He directed the irrigation department to give a detailed project to the team in this regard.
Planning Commission member Mihir Shah, who headed the team, later said the members fully agreed to the alarming situation that has risen due to waterlogging in the state and after visiting affected areas, they found the situation was worse than what they thought. "The team in its recommendations for the 12th Five Year Plan will recommend a comprehensive plan to sort out issues related to water management in the state on short, medium and long term basis. In the next five year plan, efforts will be made to map the aquifer in the country to improve quality as well as quantity of groundwater. We will put Punjab in the priority list as the situation is alarming here," said Shah.
The team also said there was full possibility of saline water shifting from south to central Punjab, as the water table in centre was low compared to south of the state. As a result of this, the problem was becoming grave.
"There is a serious need to make changes in water management. In south west Punjab, the water table is high due to waterlogging and saline water. In central Punjab, the water table is very low. Thus, the problem of saline water, which is also polluted, can travel to central Punjab. We have even found its traces in Moga district and told the ground water board to start immediate a probe,'' said Shah.
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