As the monsoon nears, the controversy over the Hansi-Butana canal has been raked up again.
Finding the siphon on the Hansi-Butana canal choked with silt, deputy commissioner GK Singh has written a missive to the Punjab government to take up the matter at the earliest with the Haryana government.
The canal falls in the territory of Haryana and has been a bone of contention between the two states.
“We are spending crores of rupees to clean river Ghaggar to ensure its smooth flow, but I am shocked to find that the siphons at Hansi-Butana, from where the Ghaggar crosses into Haryana, is badly choked with silt.”
“The drainage department of Haryana is using only one machine to remove the silt, which is just not enough. Choking of the siphon will not only lead to the wastage of money, but can also cause disaster in Punjab,” said GK Singh.
Singh said that he had told the higher officials and asked them to take up the matter with their Haryana counterparts. “The siphons must be desilted, otherwise the entire exercise of cleaning the Ghaggar in Punjab will prove futile,” he said.
The deputy commissioner on Wednesday made a surprise visit to check the work being done to clean the drains in Patiala district. During his visit, he also spoke with the Haryana officials at the site and asked them to speed up the work to clean the siphon.
The Hansi-Butana toe wall was in the news last summer after the neighbouring states got embroiled in a legal war over the issue. The Punjab government wanted the Centre’s intervention in asking Haryana to stop the construction of the concrete wall along the canal. However, Punjab failed to get any respite from the Supreme Court.
“Not only the wall and siphons, the entire Hansi-Butana canal is illegal and against the natural flow of the Ghaggar. The Haryana’s Congress government has been creating problems for Punjab. Last year, they constructed the toe wall in 4-kilometre area, and now it’s not cleaning the siphon. I will ask the chief minister to take up the matter with the Haryana CM,” said cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, MLA from Samana.