Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked the Centre to take up canalisation of the State’s three eastern rivers of the Indus water system — Sutlej, Ravi and Beas — as a national project to enable conservation of water and enhancement of the region’s economic growth.In his proposal presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting in New Delhi, the Chief Minister suggested construction of high-speed economic corridors on the 985-km-long river embankments, apart from flood protection measures and lining of side slopes of the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas. The Chief Minister pointed out that the three perennial rivers irrigate only about 27% of the State’s cultivated area, leading to over-exploitation of groundwater. Capt. Amarinder also said that there was a need to harness river water which was currently flowing into Pakistan during the monsoons. “The canalisation of rivers and development of river front areas will expand activities, leading to widening of the base of Punjab’s economy,” he said.