Charges for use of river, canal water for non-agriculture purposes revised in Punjab

Chandigarh, Dec 4 (PTI) The Punjab government on Wednesday said it has decided to revise charges for the use of river and canal water for purposes other than agriculture.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet here, a government statement said.

The proposed rates are on par with neighbouring state of Haryana, it said, adding the revision is expected to increase revenue generated from water charges from the existing Rs 24 crore per annum to Rs 319 crore per annum.

The decision was taken in view of the fact that the state government needed to mobilise additional resources, including for maintenance of canal network, which is spread along 14,500 kms across the state and has deteriorated with the passage of time, the statement said.

Most of the distributaries and minors were lined 30 to 40 years ago, during the 1980s, and regular cleaning, twice a year, is required to run the canals efficiently so as to ensure authorised discharge at tail ends, an official spokesperson said.

The department of water resources, apart from irrigation, supplies water in bulk to various institutions such as thermal power plants, industries, municipal corporations etc, through canals and rivers.

Likewise, beverage and bottled water industry, drinking water supply (including railways and army), fish ponds, brickworks and water for construction work also utilize bulk supply of water for operations.

The state cabinet also gave the nod to recruit 1,090 'Patwaris' (revenue officials) against vacant posts. PTI CHS AQS