Punjab to push for reassessment of Ravi, Beas waters on Supreme Court’s orders
The Punjab government is waiting for a formal order from the Centre to push for reassessment of Ravi, Beas waters.Updated: Jul 13, 2019 08:36 IST
Following the Supreme Court’s directive to Punjab and Haryana to appoint a panel of officers to work out an amicable solution to the vexed Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, Punjab on Friday decided to push for a reassessment of river waters.
“It’s our long-pending standpoint that water flowing in the rivers of Punjab in the current scenario is not what it was 50 years ago. The flow has come down drastically, so before any division we must know how much water we have in our rivers,” said a senior irrigation department officer who did not want to be quoted as the matter is sub-judice.
In an order on Tuesday, the SS had said, “We request the chief ministers of both states to form a committee of officers and to ensure that both of them deliberate with the intervention of the Central government at the highest level and if possible to work out a solution.”
The Punjab government is waiting for a formal order from the Centre before appointing the panel. “When we receive the orders, we will know about the formation and level of officers in the committee,” the officer quoted above said.
Two years ago, the SC had similarly asked the two states to resolve the matter out of court, but nothing came of it. “The SYL canal will take Ravi-Beas waters to Haryana from upstream of Nangal Dam. Punjab’s contention has been that the amount of water sanctioned to Haryana is unjustified,” said a retired chief engineer of Punjab’s irrigation department, currently a consultant with the government.
Haryana has been demanding water for its southern districts from the Ravi and Beas rivers, claiming it was part of Punjab before the states were reorganised in November 1966. Punjab’s contention is that its dependence on river water has increased in recent times because of an acute dip in subsoil water and a depleting water table.