Amidst the ongoing dispute over the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Committee, the Punjab government accused Haryana of not clearing up the siphons of the controversial Hansi-Bhutana Canal saying that it could lead to floods in the state by hindering the river Ghaggar’s flow from Punjab to Haryana.
"We have written several times to the Haryana government to clear the siphons, but the neighbouring state has not yet done it. Punjab will again take up the matter again as removing mud from the siphons is of utmost necessity for the smooth flow of Ghaggar," said deputy commissioner Varun Roojam.
"The siphons must be desilted. Otherwise, the entire exercise of cleaning the Ghaggar in Punjab will prove futile," he said.
As Haryana constructed a toe wall alongside the Hansi-Bhutana Canal, the water from Ghaggar has to flow only through the siphons. The river carries maximum drainage water during monsoons and any block in its flow could lead to floods in Punjab, especially in Patiala and Sangrur.
It may be recalled that the construction of the Hansi-Bhutana toe wall sparked a controversy last year after both states were involved in a legal war last summer. Punjab sought the central government’s intervention to stop Haryana from constructing wall along the canal. However, Punjab failed to get any respite from the Supreme Court.
Addressing the residents of Dharmeri village, which is on the banks of Ghaggar, Roojam said that keeping in mind the approaching monsoon the Punjab Drainage Department wrote to its counterpart in Haryana to clear mud from the siphons on the latter’s side while Punjab had done its part in clearing the siphon.
On Saturday, the DC held a detailed field review of the ongoing works of the drainage department to ensure that channelisation and cleaning of drains will be completed before monsoons set in.
He visited the Hansi-Bhutana Canal, Ghaggar river, Samana Mandi drain, Sarai Patti drain, Badi Nadi. Saying that Patiala was prone to floods, Roojam directed the department officials to clean all drains in the district by mid July, by which time rains are expected, and highlighted the clearing of Ghaggar as high priority.
Drainage department executive engineer Kuljit Singh and sub-divisional officer Nirmal Singh briefed the DC about the various ongoing works and assured that all works would be completed before monsoon sets in.