Farmers’ delegation from Rajasthan calls on Minister, Jal Shakti over low water flow issue in canals

Farmers’ delegation from Rajasthan calls on Minister, Jal Shakti over low water flow issue in canals

Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat directs urgent convening of Bhakra Beas Management Board meeting to resolve the issue

A delegation of farmers and public representatives from Rajasthan representing Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, led by Lok Sabha MP from Ganganagar, Shri Nihal Chand Chauhan called on the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat here today. Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises was also present. The delegation highlighted the farmers’ plight due to low supply of water in the Rajasthan and Ganga canals.

Chairman, Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Shri Devendra Kumar Sharma said the water flow has been maintained at the prescribed 1,301 cusecs level even during the peak summer months as on 22nd May every year. The delegation pointed out the BBMB has assured more water supply demands will be met but the State Government has not put up any such proposal.

Shri Shekhawat spoke with the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan over phone and expressed disappointment that the state’s Chief Engineer (Irrigation) did not attend today’s meeting. The Minister said the aggravating water crisis could trigger farmers’ protests as low water supply was putting their standing crops at risk. He directed the BBMB Chairman to urgently convene a meeting of the Board on 17th December and resolve the water distribution issue. Shri Shekhawat, however, pointed out that the Central Government has made available the maximum water supply during the last three years.

The delegation included MLAs Shri Bihari Lal Bishnoi (representing Lokha constituency), Shri Balbir Luthra (Raisinghnagar) and Smt. Shimla Bawri (Anupgarh). Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri U.P. Singh and Chairman of Central Water Commission, Shri Rajendra Kumar Jain also attended today’s meeting.

The distribution of Satluj water amongst the partner States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan is done as per Bhakra Nangal Agreement 1959. The overall share of the Partner States is as under and the water is being distributed accordingly to the satisfaction of partner States:

Punjab    – 57.88%, Haryana – 32.31% and Rajasthan    – 9.81%.

The distribution of surplus Ravi-Beas waters is done as per the Agreement among the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on December 31, 1981. As per this agreement, the total quantum of surplus Ravi-Beas waters over and above the pre-partition utilization has been assessed as 17.17 MAF on the basis of flow series for the year 1921-60 after deducting the pre-partition uses of 3.13 MAF and transit losses in Madhopur Beas Link of 0.26 MAF.

The allocation of surplus Ravi-Beas waters to the various States in accordance with this agreement is as under:

Punjab            4.22 MAF

Haryana        3.50 MAF

Rajasthan        8.60 MAF

Delhi Water Supply    0.20 MAF (Fixed)

J&K            0.65 MAF (Fixed)

Total            17.17 MAF

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