“Although Sriganganagar Parliamentary constituency requires 2,600 to 2,800 cusecs of water, the Punjab government is sending just 500 cusecs to 1,200 cusecs of water. As a result, crops in these areas are getting severely affected. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the Punjab government not to send a single drop of water to Pakistan. But the Punjab government is following a different principle,” said Subhash Chandra Sehgal, the spokesperson of Kishan Sangharsh Samiti in Sriganganagar.
On Friday, the organisation had sent a letter to Modi requesting him to take up the issue with Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and CM Ashok Gehlot. State water resources department officials had acknowledged that the Punjab government is sending less amount of water to Rajasthan since the onset of monsoon. But these officials claimed that this decision of the Punjab government is not ‘intentional’ rather due to technical problem.
“On the upstream of Sutlej Basin, the Punjab government needs to maintain a pond level of 690.90 feet. At present, owing to certain technical issues, the pond level is hovering around 690 feet. That is the reason behind Punjab is sending less amount of water into Rajasthan,” said Amarjeet Singh Meharada, the chief engineer of WRD in Hanumangarh.
As per agreement Punjab is supposed to send 2,800 cusecs of water a day into the Gang Canal System from the Firozpur feeder. However, since the onset of monsoon the state is sending a maximum of 2,000 cusecs of water a day. On days the quantity had even been below 1,000 cusecs.
“We are in constant touch with our counterparts in Punjab. Hopefully, the issue would get sorted out soon,” added Meharada.