Rakhra blames Haryana for floods in Ghaggar
Rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on Wednesday said Haryana was not doing enough cleanliness work in the Ghaggar river, which would lead to floods in Punjab in the monsoon season.punjab Updated: Jun 06, 2013 00:39 IST
Rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on Wednesday said Haryana was not doing enough cleanliness work in the Ghaggar river, which would lead to floods in Punjab in the monsoon season.
As the monsoon is around the corner, Punjab, which has started the cleanliness drive of its drains after a considerable delay, has once again raked up the controversy about the Ghaggar and the Hansi-Bhutana toe wall.
Rakhra, who was inspecting the cleanliness of the Ghaggar and other rivers, said, "Punjab has repeatedly offered to channelise the Ghaggar but Haryana doesn't agree. Haryana also illegally built a toe wall around the Hansi-Bhutana canal from where the Ghaggar flows from Punjab into Haryana. Though we are spending crores for the smooth flow of monsoon waters in the Ghaggar, it would be of no help if Haryana didn't clean its part of the river."
Rakhra said Punjab had widened the base of the Ghaggar near Makraud Sahib but in Haryana they hadn't taken any steps to widen it. "If they don't take any steps now, it would lead to wastage of our money, as it would create hindrance in the free flow of the Ghaggar water and lead to floods and devastation," he said.
"The river is a problem for both states as it leads to floods. I don't know why Haryana is not serious in having a permanent solution to the problem," said Rakhra, blaming Haryana for floods in Patiala and Sangrur.
However, sources said the minister and officials raised the issue only to cover up the delayed cleanliness drive. The monsoon will hit the region by the end of this month, but cleanliness in many parts of the Ghaggar has not been started yet.
Rakhra said he would urge the chief minister to take up the matter with Haryana to clean their part of the Ghaggar and other rivers, or the entire purpose of cleaning the Ghaggar in Punjab would be defeated.
Before the assembly elections in Punjab, the Hansi-Bhutana toe wall had hit headlines as the two states remained embroiled in a legal war over the issue.
To stop devastation in its area, Haryana had constructed the toe wall on the 4-km area from where the Ghaggar flows into Haryana.
Meanwhile, the locals requested the minister that the government should work out a solution for the free flow of the Ghaggar waters, or a heavy monsoon would lead to massive destruction in the area.