Himachal Pradesh cess on power projects, water release to Rajasthan to dominate zonal meeting : The Tribune India

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Himachal Pradesh cess on power projects, water release to Rajasthan to dominate zonal meeting

Punjab to discuss non-cooperation of Rajasthan in making additional indent for water through canals when the state suffered floods

Himachal Pradesh cess on power projects, water release to Rajasthan to dominate zonal meeting

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, September 18

Water-related issues will dominate the Northern Zonal Council meeting (NZC) scheduled for September 26 in Amritsar. Levy of water cess by Himachal Pradesh on hydro-power projects, maintenance of reservoir level in Bhakra and Pong dams, release of the Ravi-Beas waters to Rajasthan and release of additional water to Rajasthan through the Bhakra Main Line Canal are some of the issues to be taken up for discussion in the meeting.

However, for Punjab, which is hosting the meet, the most important issue to be discussed in the meeting will be the non-cooperation of Rajasthan in making additional indent for water through the canals when the state suffered flash-floods in July and a second flood in August because of the heavy downpour in Himachal Pradesh.

Top officials in the state told The Tribune that the state would make its point on “regional cooperation and empathy” in the meeting by citing the case of how Rajasthan and Haryana had refused to help Punjab in its worst-ever crisis in recent times. Punjab is likely to use the argument to make its case for not giving any additional river water to Haryana from the SYL Canal or to Rajasthan through the Gang Canal.

While Punjab battled the flash-floods in July, Rajasthan expressed its unwillingness to take full capacity of water from the Rajasthan feeder (18,000 cusecs) and made an indent to accept only 1,500 cusecs. Similarly, Haryana had reportedly not allowed Punjab government officials and Army personnel requisitioned to help in flood relief work to plug a breach in the Ghaggar near Chandpur village of Fatehabad even as a number of villages in both states were flooded.

Among other water-related issues to be taken up by the Punjab Government in the meeting are allocation of Yamuna waters, utilisation of discharge of the Ujh and Ravi (which flow to Pakistan) and setting up of mini hydel projects on the Bhakra main line at 27 sites with a total capacity of 63.75 MW.

Shah to chair meet

The meeting will be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Chief Ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, besides representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, will attend the meeting

Guv defers visit

Governor Banwarilal Purohit has re-scheduled his three-day visit to border areas in the wake of the meeting. His visit was scheduled from September 20-23. He will now visit the border districts after the meeting

Other issues to be discussed

  • Punjab will also stake its sole claim on Chandigarh in the meeting. The state will press for tight legal framework to buy land in neighbouring states
  • The state will make its presentation on DBT for social security pensions and progress under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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