Indira Gandhi Nahar Project is an excellent example of courageous fight of man against oddness of nature. Aim of this ambitious project is to irrigate the thirsty desert land of Western Rajasthan with Himalaya's water and provide drinking water to crores of inhabitants of this area.
Origin of this canal is from Harike barrage situated in Punjab. From Harike, 204 Km. long Indira Gandhi Feeder off-takes, which has 170 Km. length in Punjab & Haryana and balance 34 Km. in Rajasthan. This canal enters in Rajasthan at Hanumangarh. From tail of Indira Gandhi Feeder 445 Km. long Indira Gandhi Main Canal starts which passes through Sri Ganganagar and Bikaner districts and ends at Mohangarh in Jaisalmer. The Project has been envisaged for utilization of 7.59 MAF water out of Rajasthan’s share in surplus water of Ravi- Beas rivers.
Objectives of Project
· To provide irrigation facilities in desert area to meet the increasing demand of agricultural products.
· To provide water for drinking and industrial uses.
· Drought proofing of the area and improving living conditions.
· To meet the needs of drinking water, fodder etc. for the animal wealth in the region.
· To provide opportunities for employment and overall development of the area.
Status of Project
For administrative convenience, project has been divided in two stages. The 393 Km. long canal portion (Feeder 204, Main canal 189) from Harike barrage to Pugal in Bikaner distt. i.e. up to 620 RD of Main Canal, with its distribution system (excluding Sahwa lift) is called stage-I. Original work of this stage has been completed and major portion of this stage (except Kanwar Sain lift) has been transferred to Water Resources Deptt. for operation and maintenance.
At present, work of stage-II of Indira Gandhi Nahar Project is under progress. The area downstream to RD 620 of Main canal with its distribution system (including Sahwa lift) is in stage-II. Length of main canal in this stage is 256 Km., which extends from Pugal to Mohangarh. Work of Main canal was completed in 1986.
As per project estimate of year 1993 and decisions taken by State Govt. in year1995 & 1997 total Culturable Command Area (CCA) of project was 19.63 lac hectare (5.53 lac hectare in stage-I + 14.10 lac hectare in stage-II).In view of reduced availability of water for irrigation in project , State Govt. in year 2005 took decision to complete canal construction works in 16.17 lac hectare culturable command area. This area has been opened for irrigation after completion of canal construction works. However CADWM works in lift schemes of Stage –II is remaining, where works for development of pressure irrigation system has been started.
Pressure Irrigation system in lift schemes of IGNP Stage-II
For efficient and optimum use of water available in project, it has been decided to establish sprinkler irrigation system in lift schemes of stage-II. A pilot project of sprinkler irrigation was taken up in 27449 hectare in the year 2007-08, in which all works to be executed by department has been completed. All Water User Associations (W.U.A.) proposed in this area has been constituted and irrigation with sprinklers has been started in most of the area. To establish sprinkler irrigation system in remaining area of stage-II lift schemes, sanction has been received from Ministry of Water resources, Government of India for inclusion of project costing Rs.1658.81 crores under Command Area Development and Water Management Programme, under which 50% cost will be received as Central assistance. Pressure irrigation works under this project has been started in 3 canals of Ch. Kumbha Ram Lift Scheme and 4 other works has been in Ch. Kumbha Ram Lift, Dr.Karni Singh Lift and Pannalal Barupal lift schemes.
SCADA system has been installed in project for effective control on water regulation and distribution in canals through latest techniques. Quantity of water flowing in Main Canal and other important canals of-taking from main canal is available at main controlling places of project. This is also available on Internet. Extension of this system on some new locations is under process.
With completion of most of the construction work as above, IGNP has benefited the state as under-
· Irrigation is being done every year in this area, where, earlier it was very difficult to arrange even drinking water.
· Drinking water from this canal is being supplied to various villages, towns & cities of Bikaner, Jodhpur, Sri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Churu, Nagaur and Barmer.
· Water for Power generation is being supplied to various power projects of Suratgarh, Barsingsar, Guda, Ramgarh, Giral, Rajwest etc. and various Industries.
· Elimination of drought conditions.
· Remarkable improvement in socio-economic conditions of the people and increase in all economic activities.
· Rise in ground water table.