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Ready to give up my life, but won't give Punjab's scarce water resources to other states: Capt Amarinder Singh


ANI General News
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that he was ready to give up his life rather than give the state's scarce water resources to other states.
Wrapping up the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's address to the Assembly, the Chief Minister said: "Punjab did not have surplus water and, in line with internationally accepted Riparian principles, we would not allow the transfer of water from the basin to non-basin areas."
"We will protect the water rights of Punjab, to ensure the livelihood of millions of Punjabi farmers and landless farm labourers. The state's water was a top priority for the government, as per the 'Nawen Naroye Punjab Layee Captain De Naun Nukte' (nine points of Captain for rejuvenated Punjab) based on the party manifesto released during the 2017 Assembly polls," added Singh.
Referring to the various measures taken by his government for saving the State's precious water resources, he said: "Apart from enactment of the Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act 2020, the government had also piloted a unique project namely 'Pani Bachao Paisa Kamao', aimed at incentivising farmers to save water and earn money by consuming lesser groundwater."
The project, under which agriculture consumers are given a fixed electricity entitlement for every month of the year and no bills are issued to the farmers, will be expanded under the Budget 2020-21.
The Chief Minister further said his government would complete the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project in 2022-23 and would also make every possible effort to complete the Kandi Canal, along with attendant watercourses, by providing requisite finances during 2020-21.
Chief Minister Singh also termed as insufficient the free housing for homeless families belonging to SC and other weaker sections and said his government was now working to restructure its policies and programmes to ensure not only that every houseless household in the State has a house, but he or she has a pucca house.
Referring to the Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojna (MGSVY) to ensure that benefits of government's socio-economic programmes reach the deserving beneficiaries, the Chief Minister disclosed that so far 10.69 lakh people had benefitted, which was in sharp contrast to the previous SAD-BJP government, which had in fact misappropriated the benefits of poor to their party cadres.
The Chief Minister listed various other unique initiatives of his government, including the Smart Village Campaign (SVC), under which Rs 818 crore of the Rs 1000 crore allocation had been spent on 16011 development works in the villages. The programme would be expanded further in the next two years, he said.
On the critical issue of stubble burning, the Chief Minister said that his government had spent Rs 525 crore on 56,000 crop residue machines during the last three years for effective crop residue management.

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First Published: Feb 26 2020 | 7:35 PM IST

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