Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal today underscored the need to channel the remaining portion of 17.55 kms of Ghaggar river from Makorar Sahib to Karail out of total stretch of 40 kms which had been put on hold due apprehensions expressed by Haryana that it might cause adverse effect on the state.
Addressing the 26th Northern Zonal Council meet, Badal clarified that it was technically incorrect to withhold this Phase-II work which forms a part of the complete project for construction of embankment and widening of the river from Khanauri to Karail.
He also mentioned that non-execution of the work of Phase-II would not only deprive the area covered by Phase-I of the benefits of channeling of Ghaggar river but also cause to devastation in balance reach.
Badal raised the issue of re-excavation of lower Lissara nallah that originates from Dhamot of Doraha block in Ludhiana and falls into Ghaggar river urging the Centre to prevail upon Haryana to get the nallah re-excavated in their part of the state and also direct removal of cross bundh immediately so that natural drainage of nallah in the territory of Punjab was not obstructed.
The chief minister solicited the Centre's intervention to direct the Himachal Pradesh government for immediately taking necessary corrective measures to prevent the discharge of industrial effluents into Satluj river by the industries towns located in different parts of the state like Gwalthai Industrial Area, Industrial Area of Mehatpur town, Santoshgarh town and others.
He said the Punjab government had initiated an ambitious project for cleaning of river waters and further delay on the part of Himachal Pradesh in this regard would defeat our very purpose to provide safe and clean drinking water to the people.
Badal urged the Centre to direct the BBMB to restore the ownership of land and property which was acquired for Bhakra Nangal Project and Beas Project at Nangal and Talwara Townships, respectively, situated in the erstwhile state of Punjab before reorganization in 1966, which still vested in the state of Punjab under the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966.
He demanded that these properties which have been declared surplus should be immediately restored to Punjab, being the rightful owner.
Seeking immediate intervention of the Centre to curb the trans-border smuggling in Punjab, Mr Badal said the state was facing a drug menace because of its close proximity to the international narcotics route covering Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
He pointed out that as the border was manned by the Central security forces therefore it was obligatory on the part of GoI to keep a strict vigil on the border to check this menace.
On the issue of smuggling of Poppy Husk from Rajasthan and its adverse impact on Punjab, the Chief Minister also sought direct intervention of the Centre to direct the Rajasthan government to immediately take suitable steps to stop such illegal practice of drug trafficking into Punjab from its state where the contraband was sold freely and legally.
Badal asked the Union government to compensate Rajasthan for the notional loss of revenue.
Referring to inter-state smuggling of other drugs like Opium and Charas, he also stressed on the need to combat this menace in a systematic and organized manner for which inter-state coordination was mandatory and therefore neighbouring States of Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir should make coordinated and focused efforts.
Seeking strict maintenance of 60:40 ratio in the allocation of posts between Punjab and Haryana, Mr Badal urged the Centre to direct the Chandigarh administration not to create unnecessary problems on an extremely emotive issue.
He lamented that this ratio was being frequently disturbed by the Territorial Administration adding that the sanctity of this decision should be maintained and the administration should take concrete steps to ensure that the ratio is maintained in all departments/categories of employees to maintain a proper balance.