The Punjab government has submitted in the Punjab and Haryana high court that it would take `4,700 crore to supply surface water through canals to 4,005 habitations in six districts where groundwater is contaminated.
In the affidavit, state's water supply and sanitation chief engineer (south) AK Soni has also submitted that his department arrived at the cost figure on the basis of the feasibility study in Moga, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sangrur, Barnala, and Hoshiarpur districts. "A huge amount would be required to cover all the quality-affected villages of the state," is the government view.
Punjab further submitted that in view of the quality problems, groundwater sources were not sustainable over a period of time, and it was necessary to harness the available surface water for the existing water schemes. The government stated that it had allocated `100 crore in the current budget for installing water-purification systems in the affected villages.
The submissions were made before the division bench comprising justice SK Mittal and justice HS Sidhu during the resumed hearing of a public-interest petition by advocate BS Loomba seeking measures to check uranium contamination in Punjab's groundwater.