The system's rehabilitation was needed urgently as lining of the canals had been severely damaged due to continuous flow.
New record in Indira Gandhi Canal Project: Amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the states of Rajasthan and Punjab accomplished civil work of restoring around 70 kilometers of both feeder canals and main canal of the Indira Gandhi Canal Project in a record time of 60 days. It was a challenging task as the repairs required canals’ closure, while 1.75 crore people, numerous cattle, army cantonment along the international border as well as thousand hectares of farms in the state of Rajasthan were dependent on the canals for water. The COVID-19 pandemic added more challenges to the restoration work. The system’s rehabilitation was needed urgently as lining of the canals had been severely damaged due to continuous flow. Thus, to achieve the target on time, thousands of workers, as well as government officials, worked round the clock following strict Covid protocols.
For the canal restoration work, the Rajasthan feeder of the Indira Gandhi Canal Project was closed and it had directly impacted requirements of drinking, irrigation, army cantonment along the international border as well as industrial usages in the state’s border districts. The Rajasthan government had worked a water contingency plan for a duration of sixty days for these areas and defined a strict deadline for repair work of the 90 km long stretch of the Indira Gandhi feeder and main canal.
During 60 days closure from 30 March to 28 May 2021, relining of nearly 23 Km long stretch, costing an amount of Rs 202.92 crore, was successfully executed by Punjab and during 30 day closure period from 29 April to 28 May 2021, relining of about 47 Km long stretch, costing to Rs 238 crore, was executed by the state of Rajasthan successfully.
Another major task was that the feeder canal had a bed width of approximately 40 metres with a side sloping height of 11.5 metres. Concreting in bed had to be done in three strips. Thus, each day, around 13650 cubic meter of concrete needed to be laid. To complete the task, a three-shift, 24X7 work plan was executed by the Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for Desert areas (RWSRPD). Accordingly, installation and commissioning of around 81 Batching plant, as many as 320 Transit mixtures, 150 Paver as well as deployment of over 3500 skilled and semi-skilled labour was done with help of 73 contractors.