Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 9
The governments of Punjab and Rajasthan have agreed to revive around 90-year-old water channel along the India-Pakistan border to prevent the flow of extra water to Pakistan from Hussainiwala headworks.
The 45,000-feet-long channel was part of the Bikaner canal, which was constructed jointly by the British government and the erstwhile princely state of Bikaner to provide irrigation water to villages of the princely state.
The channel was abandoned after Punjab and Rajasthan governments jointly constructed Harike headworks in 1960 and started feeding Bikaner canal from Harike headworks, located 42 km upstream Hussainwala headworks.
"As this channel is not clean, around 700-900 cusecs of water flows towards Pakistan in the rainy season. After the channel is revived, the quantum of water will flow towards Bikaner canal," added a senior official.
Ballehwala is the point where the channel of old Bikaner canal merges with new Bikaner canal that emerges from Harike headworks.
Sources said the move would largely benefit the villages of Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. They said CM Parkash Singh Badal had given his consent to revive the channel in a meeting held with Rajasthan's Water Resources Minister Ram Partap and department's Chief Engineer RK Chaudhary yesterday.
Kahan Singh Pannu, Secretary, Irrigation, could not be contacted. However, confirming the development, Chaudhary, said: "It has been decided hat the water channel form Hussainiwala headworks to Ballehwala will be cleaned and de-silted to enhance the quantum of water the canal."
The CM has instructed the Irrigation Department to purchase heavy machinery to remove hyacinth from Harike barrage, Ferozepur headworks and Hussainiwala headworks. He has also asked the officials concerned to take up repair of damaged stretches. Kisan Sangharsh Samiti spokesman Subhash Sehgal said relining of the Ferozepur feeder would be the lasting solution to check water losses.
(Inputs by Raj Sadosh)
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