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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

'Munak canal's money records untraceable'

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 14, 2012
First Published: 23:56 IST(14/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(14/10/2012)

A reply to an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) has revealed that the Haryana government cannot trace records about how the Delhi government's money for the Munak canal has been spent.

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The canal that starts at Munak in Haryana brings in Yamuna waters for Delhi. The Delhi government has paid around R500 crore to the neighbour for concrete lining the 110-km long Munak carrier lined canal (CLC). It runs parallel to the Western Yamuna Canal.

Delhi is banking on the additional 80 MGD (million gallons per day) water from Munak CLC as savings from groundwater seepage.

Dwarka resident Rejimon CK had filed the original application under RTI in April 2011 to public information officers at the engineering-in-chief of the Haryana irrigation department and to the circle office in Karnal.

After repeated follow-ups, when he finally reached the first appellate authority (FAA), Rejimon told him that the officials concerned - superintending engineer BWS, circle, Kaithal, SE YWS circle Karnal - had not implemented the FAA's directions.

Explaining why he filed the application under RTI, Rejimon said, "We have been hearing about the Munak canal and waiting for its water since years. But no one really knows the status of work on ground. Media reports tell us that Haryana has been asking more money for the work and hence it is pending."

"Finally, a few weeks ago, to my horror, I got a reply from one of the Haryana offices.This office is unable to provide information on the subject as no relevant record is received by this circle," Rejimon said.

While DJB officials evinced no interest on why Haryana gave a reply in this manner when HT took up the matter with them, KK Jalan, Haryana's principal secretary (Irrigation) was not amused.

"Munak canal work was done under various divisions. One division has information related to land, another to civil work and yet another to finances. So RTI cannot give reply to all questions. I can't blame my people for not giving information," Jalan said.


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