ABOUT SOLAR POWERED COMMUNITY MICRO IRRIGATION PROJECT (SCMIP)
The Kandi belt comprising 10% of the total area of the State is predominately rainfed, infact the name Kandi is Urdu word meaning 'Water Scarce'. The area suffers from acute shortage of drinking water besides poor socio-economic conditions of farmers. Hoshiarpur district falls in this kandi belt and is characterized by highest number of seasonal choes (rivulets) criss-crossing its lands but due to undulating topography and steep slopes, most of it gets wasted as runoff. Soil erosion is another major concern in this area as during monsoon period most of fertile soils gets eroded, thereby leaving farmers with double whammy i.e. unavailability of assured irrigation source coupled with soil degradation. These problems are just tip of iceberg as largely being forest area, the agriculture is threatened by wild animals. The farmers could not even grow fruits or vegetables for thier households needs because of threat of wild animals. Being sub-mountenous and remote area, the electricity supply is highly unreliable, mainly because of logists involved. The producivity is among the lowest as farmers are only able to cultivate single crop in a year and that too at mercy of rainfalls only. Govt of Punjab taking stock of this situation, constructed Kandi canal, called lifeline of kandi area, but the irony was that the area to the right of canal being at lower elevation is irrigated through gravitational flow whereas the area to the right of canal being at higher elevation could be irrigated utilizing lift irrigation only.
The villagers of project area approached the Department in year 2014, for finding a solution to their hardships and implement a lift irrigation scheme, acting on which the Department held delibrations with various stakeholders and conceived a grid operated traditional lift irigation project. The villagers upon explanation of recurring costs of grid connected project expressed thier inability to pay recurring costs, until they had assured income source. The Department, considering the community concerns, got to drawing board once again and thus came "Integrated Solar Powered Community Lift-Micro Irrigation Project"
The Govt of Punjab approved the project with total cost of 40.94 cr with funding from under RKVY and NABARD. The work on project was started in April, 2015 and was divided into three phases. The Project was completed and commissioned on 7th August, 2017. The project shall be operated and maintained by Department by hand holding local community for initial 7 years thus providing gestation period for farmers to develop their fiscal and technical capacity.