Rajasthan leaders visit Headworks
Hussainiwala September 14:
Dispute between Punjab and Rajasthan over the sharing of river waters resurfaced today with a section of Rajasthan BJP leaders, who visited Balewala, Harike and Hussainiwala headworks, demanding their rightful share.
The leaders, including former ministers, MLAs, MPs and other elected representatives from Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan, accused the Punjab Government of supplying polluted water through inter-state canals to Rajasthan. They alleged that a major share of river waters belonging to Rajasthan was being allowed to flow to Pakistan from these headworks.
The leaders said they would not allow Punjab to do injustice with them adding that a group of BJP leaders had been visiting various points in Punjab from where water enters into Rajasthan. “We will meet Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal tomorrow and request him to supply adequate water to Rajasthan as per various agreements reached between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan before and after Partition,” said Sriganganagar MLA and former Rajasthan Irrigation Minister Radhey Sham. He, however, refused to divulge details of their future plans.
The BJP leaders included MP Nihal Chand, Gurjant Singh, Surinder Pal Singh Titi, OP Mahindra (all former ministers), Abhishek Mantoria, Vishva Nath (MLAs), Ram Partap and Dharminder Mochi (former MLAs) and other functionaries of the state BJP unit. Radhey Sham said while 36,000 cusecs of the Sutlej water was being released to Pakistan from this headworks, Rajasthan was being given only 1,500 cusecs against 3,100 cusecs from the Gang canal, 900 cusecs against 1,800 cusecs from the Bhakra canal and 11,000 cusecs against 14,000 cusecs from the Rajasthan feeder canal.
“Thousands of cusecs of water from the Rajasthan feeder canal is being fed into the Sirhind feeder canal by officials of the Punjab Irrigation Department by making an illegal cut in its banks,” alleged Gurjant Singh, former irrigation minister. Surinder Pal Singh Titi said their only demand was that they should be given that water, which was being allowed to flow to Pakistan by the Punjab Government.
Meanwhile, a senior functionary of the Punjab Irrigation Department said Rajasthan was being supplied water as per its share subjected to the availability of water in the dams concerned, adding that political reasons had compelled Rajasthan leaders to level allegations against Punjab.