'Canal networking will begin next year'

'Canal networking will begin next year'

This would prevent flooding and improve green cover

The project is aimed at preventing flooding besides improving green cover. State government also intends to use the adjacent land for horticulture and provide a green belt.

“We will be covering all the major rivers in the State where the canals will be built,” Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation Works, Basavaraj Bommai said here on Monday. The project has been formulated under the chairmanship of environmentalist Dr Yellappa Reddy, who has already provided the action plan to be implemented by next year.

On the sidelines of an International Conference on Horticulture here, the minister also mooted the idea of a “Soil health card” for farmers in the irrigated land area of the State. “The idea is to ensure that the farmers are able to track the quality of their own soil over a period of time,” said Bommai.

The move comes in the light of over one lakh acres of land being wasted because of soil damage. The irrigation department will be taking up the project on a pilot basis on 5,000 acres of irrigated land in the Cauvery and Krishna basin.

Cost factor

However, the minister dismissed the cost factor of implementing the project. “Not everything can be taken on cost factor. Why do you want the project cost? It will not cost much,” snapped Bommai.
The international conference was organised by the Dr Prem Nath Agricultural Foundation in association with various Government organisations and the University of Agricultural Sciences.

Delivering the inaugural speech, the Governor H R Bhardwaj praised the Indian agricultural scientists for ensuring a certain level of food security was achieved.

“The conference assumes significance in the light of the burning issue of food security in the world,” he said.

The Governor added that the growing help to the third world nations which are suffering from food shortage was an encouraging sight.

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