Storing riverwaters not feasible: CM

CHANDIGARH: Given the flat terrain of Punjab, it is not possible to create reservoirs for storage of the Ravi-Beas waters, said the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, while reacting to a letter written by his Haryana counterpart on the issue.

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7

Given the flat terrain of Punjab, it is not possible to create reservoirs for storage of the Ravi-Beas waters, said the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, while reacting to a letter written by his Haryana counterpart on the issue.

Rather, the Chief Minister asked the Centre to take the lead to ensure optimum harnessing of the Ravi-Beas waters by constituting a technical panel of experts to work out ways to restrict the flow of water from Punjab into Pakistan. He urged the Centre to take an initiative to stop the flow of water from Punjab into Pakistan.

“Though I have not received the letter purported written by Manohar Lal Khattar, but my government will take every possible step to secure more water for the state,” he said, adding that he had written to Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari, suggesting storage of the excess water in dams in Himachal Pradesh to check its flow into Pakistan. All the stored water can be controlled in Himachal Pradesh. Under the Indus Water Treaty, 1960, India has been allowed unrestricted usage of available water in rivers like the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. A significant quantum of water of the Ravi is flowing across the international border through tributaries like Ujh, Jallialia, Tarna, etc, joining the Ravi downstream of the rim station at Madhopur.

The quantity of water of the Ravi flowing across the international border was assessed to be 0.58 million acre-foot (MAF). In 2015, the Punjab government had submitted a report giving two alternatives — firstly, pump water from Makora Pattan to the UBDC at RD 79,000 ft, involving lift of 85 ft over the distance of 30 km and secondly, pump water from Jainpur to the UBDC at RD 79,000 ft, involving lift of 96 ft over the distance of 32 km. Further, a High-Powered Steering Committee for Implementation of National Projects, chaired by Secretary (Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, constituted a team comprising officers of the Central Water Commission and Union Irrigation Department on March 3, 2017, to visit the site of the proposed Second Ravi Beas Link Project and submit a feasibility report.

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