Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today shared the concern of his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar over "wasteful" flow of river waters into Pakistan, but sought "careful assessment" of the matter.
He also called for similar efforts to prevent wastage of Yamuna river waters too.
Singh ruled out the need for separate interaction between Punjab and Haryana or for engaging the Bhakra and Beas Management Board (BBMB) to undertake feasibility studies on the proposed second Ravi-Beas link since the matter was under consideration of a high-powered panel set up by the Centre for implementation of National Projects.
Replying to Khattar's letter of May 7 on utilisation of Ravi water flowing into Pakistan, he said, "We would surely like to check all wasteful flow of river waters and secure every drop of it for our farmers, but these have to be carefully assessed."
"In Punjab, we are of the considered opinion to fully secure and utilise the waters of the Ravi as also of other two rivers -- Sutlej and Beas -- for our farmers, without letting it go waste in any manner," Singh said while calling for concerted efforts for utilisation of all other river waters going waste.
Acknowledging the need for preventing wasteful flow of river water, the Punjab chief minister said the state was indeed facing unprecedented water crisis, with its water needs for agriculture having been assessed at 52 MAF, of which river water contribution is hardly 27 MAF.
This was causing the farmers to depend on underground water, which has depleted alarmingly, he wrote.
Singh, however, pointed out that utilisable discharge of waters of river Ravi had been determined at Madhopur rim station and the discharge flowing in tributaries (Ujh, Bein, Basantar, Jallala and Tarnah) which join Ravi downstream Madhopur headworks, was flashy, uncertain and unreliable.
Noting that the wastage of discharge pertained mainly to supply of water from Ujh, the Punjab chief minister suggested that it might, therefore, "be appropriate to examine availability of discharge post-construction of Ujh dam.
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