Short notes on some important canals of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is deficient in rainfall and falls under arid and semi-arid climates. Canals have proved to be boon for the state as a result of which sandy patches are yielding good agricultural harvests. Some of the important canals of the state are as follows:

1. Gang Canal-this canal was completed in 1928 to irrigate 3.4 lakh hectares of land in Sri Ganganagar district. The canal is “a blood transfu­sion from the living Punjab into the moribund Marusthal.” It has helped into the cultivation of wheat, pulses, oilseeds, rice, cotton, sugarcane and citrus fruits. This canal takes off from the Satluj River near Husaini wala (Firozpur) and has a total length of 1,280 km. It is also called Bikaner canal.

2. Chambal Project Canal-Under the Chambal project Gandhi Sagar and Ranapratap Sagar dams have been constructed. Canals taken out from the barrage irrigate about 2.83 lakh hectares of land in Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur and Bharatpur dis­tricts. The project is also providing irrigation to the western part of Madhya Pradesh.

3. Jawai Project-here a dam has been built across the Jawai River in 1946. The main canal is 22 km long but its branches are 120 km long. It irrigates 7,690 hectares of land in Pali, Jodhpur and Sirohi districts.

4. Ottu Feeder-it takes off from the Ghaggar River near Sirsa (Haryana). It is a non-perennial canal providing irrigation to about 51,000 hectares of land in Ganganagar District.

5. Hanumangarh Canal-this belongs to the Bhakra canal group which irrigates about 2.3 lakh hectares of land in Ganganagar district.

6. Indira Gandhi Canal-It is an ambitious canal project to divert the additional waters of the Ravi, Beas and Satluj rivers to the dry areas of Rajasthan (Fig. 14.6). A barrage has been built across the Ravi river to divert its water through a 32 km long feeder canal to the Beas. Another barrage has been constructed at the confluence of Beas and Satluj near Harike from where Indira Gandhi canal takes its origin. The main canal has a total length of 649 km of which 179 km lies in Punjab and Haryana. Along with distributaries its total length would be 8,000 km
irrigating about 14.62 lakh hectares of land in Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer dis­tricts. The project involves construction at two stages.

The stage comprise 359 km long Rajasthan main canal and 3,000 km long distribution system to serve a culturable command area of 5.4 lakh hec­tares. An important feature of this stage is the con­struction of 152 km long Loonkaransar-BikanerLift canal, along with its 187 km long distribution system to serve a culturable command area of 51,000 hec­tares. The command area is served by 1,524 km long lined water courses. The stage II envisages use of 4,938 million cu. m of water. It involves construc­tion of 250 km long main canal, 2,400 km long distribution system to serve 5 lakh hectares under flow irrigation and 1,600 km long lift system to irrigate 2.6 lakh hectares of area. The lift irrigation would be provided through Gajner, Kolayat, Phalodi, Pokran and Nahar Sahawa lift schemes.

7. Others-other canals include those be­longing to Parvati, Gudha, Morel, Jaggar, Kalisil, Mej, Gambhiri, Bankali, Sareri and Namana projects.