After deluge, blame game between Punjab and Haryana
After the deluge claimed 33 lives in Punjab and Haryana and caused an estimated loss of nearly Rs 1,400 crore, a blame game has started between the two agrarian states over the floods.
Chandigarh: After the deluge claimed 33
lives in Punjab and Haryana and caused an estimated loss of
nearly Rs 1,400 crore, a blame game has started between
the two agrarian states over the floods.
Ironically, the two states have been fighting over water
issues in the past, with Punjab maintaining that it did not
have a drop to spare and Haryana remaining determined to
have its share of water from its neighbouring state.
In a strange turn of events, the two states are now
involved in yet another row, this time not over lack of water,
but excess of it.
Punjab`s Deputy Chief Minister and head of the ruling
Shiromani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Singh Badal has alleged that the
construction of Hansi Bhutana multi-purpose canal in Haryana
was causing floods in his state.
"We have taken photographs (of the canal) and will be
giving it to the Central Water Commission," Badal had said.
Hitting back, the Haryana Government said that the
"propaganda being spread by Punjab Government by accusing
Haryana for floods in Punjab territory is palpably false and
Principal Adviser to Haryana Chief Minister, R N Prasher
has claimed that the problems faced by his state have their
origin in Punjab territory because the Ghaggar water has been
"diverted" to Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in the Punjab
"Since the SYL canal has a limited capacity, release of
large volumes of flood waters in this canal has resulted in
breaches of its banks in Ambala and Kurukshetra districts of
Haryana. These man-made, deliberate and uncalled for illegal
actions in Punjab territory have caused immense avoidable
misery to the people of Haryana," Prasher alleged.
A senior Punjab irrigation official blamed Haryana for
creating the "man-made havoc (floods)".
22 people died in flood-related deaths in Punjab, while
11 died in neighbouring Haryana.
In a communique to the Centre, Punjab has demanded that a
team of the Central Water Commission be deputed to check the
"damage" caused by the Hansi Butana canal, which it claims
was stopping the natural flow of water of river Ghaggar.
For years, the SYL Canal has remained a bone of
contention between the two states.
In 2004, Punjab had unilaterally terminated the river
water agreements with its neighbouring states (Termination of
Water Agreements Act, 2004).
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had recently
raised the demand of royalty on its water, prompting Haryana
to hit back at this demand.