PUNJAB CABINET OKAYS REVISION OF RIVER/CANAL WATER CHARGES FOR NON-AGRICULTURE PURPOSES
Chandigarh, December 4: To boost revenue, the Punjab Government has decided to revise charges for the use of river/canal water for purposes other than agriculture.
The decision was taken on Wednesday at the meeting of the State Cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder.
The proposed rates are at par with neighbouring state of Haryana, and the revision is expected to increase the revenue generated from water charges from the existing Rs. 24 crore per annum to Rs. 319 crore/annum, according to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office.
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 passage of time. Most of the distributaries and minors were lined 30 to 40 years back during 1980s, and regular cleaning, twice a year, is required to run the canals efficiently so as to ensure authorised discharge at tail ends, said the spokesperson.
Notably, 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, brick making and water for construction work also utilize bulk supply of water for operations.