Nabard has sanctioned Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) loan of Rs 100 crore to the Punjab government for laying of 1,013.40 km long underground pipeline system for conveyance of irrigation water in canal commands in 11 districts of the state. The underground pipes shall be of RCC and high-density Polyethylene (HPDE)/PVC that are best suited for waterlogged areas as they are not only extremely tough and durable but are also resistant to salinity/alkalinity, an official spokesman said here. The project, on completion, will benefit 32,992 hectares land of 297 villages besides creating 5.27 lakh man days of non-recurring employment and 2,613 recurring jobs per annum. The project covers worst affected salinity/alkalinity prevalent waterlogged areas of Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur, the spokesman said. "This intervention will help in attaining optimum crop yields in these ecologically handicapped areas," he said. Beneficiary farmers shall contribute 10 per cent of total cost, he said adding the completed projects shall be handed over to the Water User Associations (WUA) of the beneficiary farmers. The WUAs shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance and the expenditure shall be met out of Water Use Charges collected regularly by the WUAs.