By Taruni Gandhi M4PNews
They say it true that Scarcity creates Value and this quote is apt for the District Hoshiarpur situated Village Kandi . Kandi which means a place where water availability is quite low. Isn’t it strange that where a village name is based on water scarcity, there farmers are quite happy with their agriculture business!! They are not only Happy but also a source of inspiration and a lesson for many farmers in Punjab who are in habit of wasting ground water and even think of committing suicides because of their situations!! Here, in Kandi there have been a time when these farmers and their kids withdrew agriculture profession but One project made their life get sorted.
What is this project
World’s only A Standalone Solar Powered Micro Irrigation Project which got possible after 30 years of Political up downs, unwillingnesses of Politicians and not to be ignored the sad sufferings of Kandi farmers. This project is truly an example of how a village gets its Sweet fruit after hell lot of patience!! This Project is the largest Solar Powered Micro Irrigation project in the world itself.
How and When Project Conceived
The Project was conceived in year 2014 as Community Micro Irrigation Project. The Project was planned as grid connected project, with installation of electric pumpsets for lifting of water from kandi canal. The Grid connected project was sanctioned under NABARD-RIDF-18 with total cost of Rs. 31.28 Crore. The Project was planned for execution on turnkey basis and was awarded to Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd through e-tender.
Project Site is situated on South side of Kandi Canal and is spread over an area of 20 sq kms. The approx command area is 664 hactare, which includes land already under agriculture operations and plantation, under rainfed conditions and the barren land, which is cultivable but not under agriculture due to non availability of irrigation water (such lands shall be converted to productive land after availability of water from the project).
Confirming the facts Gurbinder Dhillon Soil Conservator of Departments confirms that Kandi Canal was constructed in 1980’s , for providing irrigation facilities in the region. The land on Northern side of canal started getting irrigation from canal by gravity because of lower topography. The farmers on southern side of canal still could not benefit from canal because of lands being on higher elevation than canal. Three different areas were identified for implementation of project and present site was selected after prioritization. The prioritization was made considering the factors such as agricultural activities, lack of irrigation, hardships faced by farmers, socio-economic conditions of community and above all, community participation. Suitability of land for agriculture and allied activities was also a key factor for selection of project site. The initial Government proposal of installing lift pumps on southern side failed to kick of mainly due to lack of community participation because of financial implications involved.
PURELY RAINFED AREA
- SCARCITY OF WATER (DRINKING AS WELL AS AGRICULTURE PURPOSE)
- UNDULATING TOPOGRAPHY
- SOIL EROSION
- BOULDRY STONE TYPE SOIL CHARACTERSTICS
- POOR LIVESTOCK DUE TO NON AVAILABILITY OF FODDER/FACILITIE
- LACK OF MODERN AGRICULTURE PRACTICES
- WILD / STRAY ANIMALS MENACE
- POOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
- LACK OF MARKETING FACILITIES
- LACK OF CASH CROPS – POOR MARKETING/PROCESSING LINKAGES
Gross area 734 hectare, out of which cultivable area is 664 hactare for which assured irrigation will be provided using micro irrigation systems. It is benefitting 1200 farming families in 14 villages. The project divided into 5 sub-schemes, which have been further divided into 18 zones of about 35-40 hactare area each. Total 15 cusecs water to be lifted from Kandi Canal at three different locations. 46 solar pumps of 15 to 23 HP with 3798 solar panels generating 1.1 MW will supply irrigation water to the fields through micro irrigation systems. Each section is having an automatic valve, connected to a centralized controller to control the supply period to the farmers. The distribution system consists of 7.3 kms long underground HDPE pipes with diameter varying from 450 mm to 180mm. 60 kms PVC line laid for distribution of water to individual sections having an area of 2-2.5 ha each and No recurring expenses like energy bills for the farmers.