COTTON FARMERS WILL GET CANAL WATER FROM APRIL 15: VIJAY KUMAR JANJUA
In order to boost crop diversification in the state and to encourage farmers to cultivate cotton crops, the Water Resources Department has made full preparations to provide canal water to cotton farmers as per their demand in the month of April. Meanwhile, an awareness campaign is also being started for farmers to increase the use of canal water.
It was stated by Chief Secretary Mr. Vijay Kumar Janjua in a press communiqué after a high level meeting with officials of Water Resources, Agriculture, School Education and Police Departments at the Punjab Civil Secretariat today.
Mr. Janjua said that following the instructions of the Chief Minister, the Water Resources and Agriculture Departments have jointly prepared to release canal water to the farmers of the cotton belt of Southern Malwa from April 15 to irrigate the cotton crops. He said that the State Government is encouraging the farmers for cotton crops to boost crop diversity and curb the trend of stubble burning. It was the contention put forward by the farmers that if canal water is available in the month of April, it will be very beneficial for the cotton crop. The State Government is going to fulfil the demand of farmers this year. In this regard, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will hold continuous meetings for better coordination. If a farmer faces any problem, he can call on toll-free number 1100.
During the meeting, Mr. Janjua directed the police department to increase vigilance and work together with the Water Resources Department to prevent canal water theft incidents. He said that at headquarters, an ADGP level officer will be appointed as the State Nodal Officer and in districts of the cotton belt an SP rank officer will be posted as District Level Nodal Officer.
The Chief Secretary further informed that the School Education Department has been asked to start an awareness campaign among the students to conserve ground water and increase the use of canal water. Apart from the special lecture in the morning assembly, essay writing, painting and debate competitions amongst the students should be conducted on these subjects. He said that the State Government is committed to save the groundwater level, which is decreasing day by day, besides getting the farmers out of the traditional crop cycle, encourage crop diversification and burning of paddy stubble.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary Water Resources Krishan Kumar, Principal Secretary Agriculture Sumer Singh Gurjar, Director General School Education Vinay Bublani, Director Agriculture Gurvinder Singh and AIG (Personnel) Gaurav Toora.