The area under paddy cultivation through the direct seeding of rice (DSR) technique will be increased to two lakh acres in Haryana.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said that the area under direct seeding will be increased from 73,000 acres to nearly 2 lakh acres.
"This will save 218 MCM (million cubic metres) of water. For this, provision will be made for availability of machinery and subsidy," he added.
Khattar also said that in the next two years, 50 per cent of the demand for water in the agriculture sector would be met by the treated wastewater of sewage treatment plants.
Besides, 100 per cent of the treated wastewater will be reused in 18 out of 31 Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation estates in the next two years, he noted.
The chief minister also said that more than 9,500 water sources would be renovated in the next two years, including 5,308 ponds, 63 check dams, 81 shallow tube wells and 4,000 recharge bore wells.
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He was speaking at the concluding session of the two-day 'Water Conclave' organised by the Haryana Water Resources Authority at Panchkula, said an official statement here.
Notably, under the DSR, a less water-consuming technique, paddy seeds are drilled into the field with the help of a machine that does the seeding of rice and spray of herbicide simultaneously.
In the traditional method, first young paddy plants are raised by farmers in nurseries and then these plants are uprooted and transplanted in a puddled field.
The DSR method needs far less water for irrigation, improves percolation, reduces dependence on farm labour and improves soil health, thus enhancing the yield of both paddy and wheat by 5-10 per cent.
It also helps save nearly about 15-20 per cent of water as compared to the conventional puddling method.
Khattar said that the Energy Department will prepare detailed project reports of projects for the reuse of treated wastewater in Yamunanagar, Panipat, Hisar and Jhajjar power plants in the next three months.
Possibilities of using treated wastewater for cooling power plants will also be explored, subject to economic viability, he added.
Khattar said that the area under natural farming will be increased from 6,000 acres to 25,000 acres. This effort will not only save water but also improve soil health.
The chief minister said that the state government has set a target of reclamation of one lakh acres of saline land in brackish water areas.
"To expedite the work and to achieve this target, the Agriculture Department will work closely with the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute and finalise its action plan in the next three months. Machines will also be made available for this work and if provision of subsidy has to be made, that too will be done," he said.
Khattar said that the World Bank has given in-principle approval for the expansion of the Atal Bhujal Yojana to 14 districts of the state.
In the first phase, a budget of 700 crores was received under the five-year plan. In the second phase also, a budget of about Rs 700 crore will be made available by the World Bank. This will cover 90 per cent of the waterlogged area of the state, he added.
He said that the area under fisheries will also be increased. Presently fish farming is being done on 2,500 acres, which has been targeted to be increased.
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