Apprehending that additional waters are being allowed to Haryana from the existing system by raising the embankment of the Bhakra mainline (BML) canal, People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Monday questioned deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal on the issue.
The embankment of the BML canal has been raised by more than a foot in a stretch of 7km up to the Khanauri head. "What has added to the mystery is the admission by the officials working on the site that the raising of the embankment had been funded by Haryana and it is being done on a war footing by bringing soil from far-off places," Manpreet said.
He said the Punjab government was under pressure from the Centre to resolve the river waters dispute with Haryana, and in this context, he referred to the statement of Union minister Uma Bharti saying she would convene a meeting of the chief ministers concerned to resolve the long-pending dispute between the two states.
Manpreet said Sukhbir's statement in Dhuri that not a drop of water would be allowed to flow out of the state and that any sacrifice was too small to keep this commitment had added to the apprehension as Sukhbir was silent on the basic issue of raising of the embankment on a war footing.
"The embankment is being raised in the Punjab area after which the canal enters Haryana. This canal was linked to the Western Yamuna Canal through the Barwala link starting near Khanauri," Manpreet said, asking chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to clarify on the issue.
AS Dullet, chief engineer of the canals wing of the Punjab irrigation department, clarified that no additional water was being given to Haryana. He said Haryana paid for the repair of the canal that carried water to it. The work for raising and relining of the embankment was sanctioned in 2001 and was currently under progress, he said, adding that Haryana got 9,767 cusecs of water from the channel on the Khanauri contact point and no water beyond their share was being supplied. He said the raising of the embankment didn't mean more water was being supplied.