Context: Recently, to ensure regular de-silting of major rivers and reduce flood intensity in the state, the Punjab Government has decided to make such de-silting part of the contracts allotted for mining blocks.

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  • The major rivers where de-silting will be carried out as part of the amended contracts are Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, besides seasonal rivulets Ghaggar and Chakki.
  • The necessary amendments to the contracts were approved by the state Cabinet.
  • The Cabinet also gave the go-ahead to the Drainage Wing of Water Resources Department to allot 78 sites in seven blocks to mining contractors. These sites have a total area of 651.02 hectares with 274.22 LMT quantity of sand/gravel.
  • Block-1 includes Ropar district, Block-2 SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), Jalandhar, Barnala, Sangrur, Mansa, Block-3 Moga, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Fazilka, Bathinda, Faridkot, Block-4 Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Block-5 Kapurthala, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Block-6 Pathankot, Block-7 Mohali, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib.
  • The Cabinet also decided that in future, more river bed stretches that need de-silting would be offered to mining contractors in a similar manner, keeping concession quantity as per the contracts.
  • The Drainage Wing of Water Resources Department has estimated that river beds have got silted up by 5 to 12 feet which, if removed, can significantly improve the capacity of the rivers by 15,000 to 50,000 cusec.

Source: The Indian Express

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