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Canal Irrigation : Fighting the Battle Against Hunger
M. L. Sureka Canal Irrigation : Fighting the Battle Against Hunger (ISBN: 81-7132-431-2)

Price: Rs. 450
ISBN: 81-7132-431-2
Availability: Yes
Published in 2005
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Irrigation is an essential component of progressive agriculture. In fact, development of irrigation has become synonymous with agricultural development and rural prosperity. It is precisely for this reason that the Government of India and the National Planning Commission under the stewardship of the first prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, paid greater emphasis on irrigation and hydel power projects for about a decade after independence. One such gigantic venture was the Rajasthan Canal, subsequently renamed as Indira Gandhi Nahar, to harness the waters of the Ravi and Beas rivers to quench the thirst of the desert lands of Western Rajasthan. Viewed in the context of the inhospitable conditions, inclement weather, vagaries of the monsoon, inadequate precipitation, virtually non-existent vegetarian and sparse population in the region, this national project has proved to be the most significant development for the State of Rajasthan as also for the country. Canal Irrigation presents an account of this national project right from its inception to its completion. It provides an inside view of the highly interesting and exhilarating story of the project. As a sequel to the advent of the RCP, the author has given the historical background of the mighty river Saraswati vanishing into the desert, the scanty rainfall and recurrence of famine in the area and the necessity of irrigation development to eliminate famine and hunger. The socio-economic conditions of the area prior to the advent of the RCP and after the implementation of the project have also been described. It is thus a highly engrossing study of the great transformation of the parched lands of the desert into lush green fields and from sparsely populated desolate areas to prosperous villages, towns and mandis humming with agriculture, economic and social activity. The author has also delved deep into the background and the course of the Indus Basin Water Dispute and the Indus Water Treaty, World Bank intervention and the various discussions and agreements. This has become highly relevant in the present context of the differences between the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan over the sharing of waters. This book will certainly prove to be valuable reading for those concerned with irrigation, colonisation planning and general administration as also to the general reader and researcher.



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