Indira Gandhi Canal
The Indira Gandhi Canal is one of the biggest canal projects in India.
Irrigation facilities to the north-western region of Rajasthan, a part of the Thar Desert. It consists of the Rajasthan feeder canal (with the first 167 km in Punjab and Haryana and the remaining 37 km in Rajasthan) and 445 km of the Rajasthan main canal which is entirely within Rajasthan.This canal enters into Haryana from Punjab near Lohgarh village of Haryana,then running in western part of district Sirsa it enters into Rajasthan near Kharakhera village (Tehsil:Tibbi,district:-Hanumangarh) of Rajasthan. The IGNP traverses seven districts of Rajasthan: Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Sriganganagar.
The Green revolution in Rajasthan
After the construction of the Indira Gandhi Canal, irrigation facilities were available over an area of 6770 km² in Jaisalmer district and 37 km² in Barmer district.Irrigation had already been provided in an area of 3670 km² in Jaisalmer district. The canal has transformed the barren deserts of this district into rich and lush fields. Crops of mustard, cotton, and wheat now flourish in this semi-arid north-western region replacing the sand there previously.
Improvement in living standard
Besides providing water for agriculture, the canal will supply drinking water to hundreds of people in far-flung areas.
As the second stage of work on the canal progresses rapidly, there is hope that it will enhance the living standards of the people of the state.
Sand dune stabilization
The Indira Gandhi Canal is a major step in reclaiming the Thar Desert and checking desertification of fertile areas. There is a planting programme for greening the desert in areas near the Indira Gandhi Canal which was started in 1965. This consists of the planting of shelter belts along roads and canals, blocks of plantations and sand dune stabilization. The tree species being used for planting are Dalbergia sissoo, Eucalyptus terticornis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Morus alba, Tecomella undulata, Acacia tortilis, Azadirachta indica, Albizia lebbeck, Cassia fistula, Popular ciliata, Melia azedarch, and Acacia nilotica.
The excessive irrigation and intensification of agriculture over the years has caused environmental degradation and creation of new wastelands. There have been problems with water-logging caused by excessive irrigation, seepage from canals and poor drainage. These factors produced a rise in the water table, increased salinity and finally submergence of the land. These problems have been exacerbated by the cultivation of water intensive cash crops such as wheat and rice.
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