Apart from other factors, said Punjab Congress president, what had now led to water accumulation in the area was the misuse of connections given under the scheme to promote horticulture, which in effect was the kinnow cultivation in the area. This included, apart from the Badal clan, big landlords in the area who had been funding and supporting the state's ruling family, said Bajwa. The special water connections from the canals were misused for cultivating paddy; the arid region was otherwise unsuitable for the crop and continued to be known as the cotton belt, he added.
Bajwa said a drain had been dug under the project to carry water from the affected villages to Sutlej river near Fazilka but the channel's alignment had been changed under pressure from big landlords. Moreover, there were other design faults, as the drain was at a lower elevation than the river, and so water had started flowing back into the drain and over years, the drain had choked. More works undertaken as part of this project were also responsible for the floods, Bajwa added.