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Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:11 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:11 AM (IST)

Indira Gandhi, Sirhind canal banks decay

Indira Gandhi, Sirhind canal banks decay
The decaying banks of the Indira Gandhi and Sirhind Feeder canals are posing a risk to localities on the Kotkapura road in Faridkot. Tribune photo

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, April 15

The crumbling brick-lining of Indira Gandhi and Sirhind Feeder canals may breach anytime and create problems for the densely populated areas of the town, situated on the Kotkapura road.

Wide cracks on both sides of these canals, passing through Faridkot town, are visible after the water supply in these canals was stopped on March 29.

The reason for the closure of the canals is starting of concrete lining of the damaged bed and side walls of Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan.

Besides stopping water supply in Indira Gandhi Canal, the Sirhind Feeder is also closed in view of high threat perceptions.

With closure in one canal (Indira Gandhi Canal) and water flowing in the parallel and adjoining Sirhind Feeder, there is high risk of breach in the joining area of both canals.

The risk is more when the joining area is in a dilapidated condition.

In the absence of proper maintenance, a major portion of both these canals in this area is now unlined and wide cracks arecausing leakage and seepage of water.

The seepage is a further cause of progressive deterioration of the lining, ultimately exposing the residential areas near these canals to threat.

The project of concrete relining of both canals, 97 km of Indira Gandhi Canal and 100 km of Sirhind Feeder, has been pending for the past over seven years.

Though the Central Water Commission had cleared the Rs 1,976 crore project (Rs 1,305 crore for the Rajasthan feeder and Rs 671 crore for the Sirhind feeder) in 2011, the state government failed in contributing its share of 20 per cent, as a result these projects are stuck.

Even in September 2011, the Irrigation Department of Punjab had invited public tenders for the project, which include PCC lining for slop and bed of the canal.

While technical bids for these tenders were opened, in absence of grants, the financial bids have not been opened so far.

“We are hopeful that the project will start soon,” said Hakam Singh, executive engineer, Sirhind Feeder. 

The water in Sirhind Feeder was closed keeping in view the threats of breach in the joining portion between both canals, he said.

Dalbir Singh Dhaliwal, executive engineer, Indira Gandhi Canal, said concrete lining has already been started in Rajathan area. He said he didn’t know about the details of the project. 

However sources in Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna in Rajathan revealed that as the cracks in the canal were causing huge loss of water, the Rajasthan government has started the concrete relining in its area. 

For these wide cracks and poor condition of sidelines of the canal, it is unable to bring even half of its 18,500 cusecs capacity of water to Rajasthan, sources said.

Shikhar Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojna in Rajasthan, said the concrete relining was necessary to reduce the loss of water due to seepage.

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