NewZNew (Chandigarh) : The governments of Punjab and Rajasthan today mutually agreed to jointly monitor the progress of project related to the relining of Rajasthan and Sirhind Feeder for its timely completion.
A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal with Rajasthan Water Resources Minister Dr. Ram Pratap, who called on the former at his residence this morning.
Flagging up the issues related to Irrigational Water being supplied to Rajasthan, Dr. Ram Pratap apprised the Chief Minister that the major issue for their state was the relining of Rajasthan Feeder (RF) (Indira Gandhi Feeder) and Sirhind Feeder (SF), which were carrying water to the state from Harike head works in Punjab. He sought the personal intervention of Mr. Badal for supplying clean water to his state through both these canals.
Responding to the issues raised by Dr. Ram Pratap, the Chief Minister apprised him that the process of the relining of these canals at a cost of about Rs. 200 crore was in the pipeline and the global tenders in this regard has already been floated. Underscoring the need for regular monitoring of this ambitious project, Mr. Badal also mooted a proposal to undertake joint inspection of the relining of RF and SF by the Secretary Irrigation of both the states to ensure that this prestigious project with completed within the stipulated time.
The Chief Minister further informed Dr. Ram Pratap that the state government was keen for cleaning the rivers of the state for which several path breaking initiatives have been taken by them. He said that with an aim to supply clean water through these canals, Punjab has already embarked upon a massive project worth Rs. 1375 crore in terms of setting up of Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) in all the towns discharging municipal sewage in river Satluj and Rs.220 crore for the installation of STPs in the towns along the river Beas. As many as 10 out of 18 towns have installed and commissioned the STPs along the river Satluj. Similarly, out of total 11 towns 5 have been covered with the facility of STPs along the river Beas and the remaining STPs in the towns along both these rivers would be installed by June 30, 2015. It was further informed in the meeting that though all the dyeing industries of Ludhiana have installed their individual Effluent Treatment Plants ETPs but in order to monitor all these industries at single points and ensure the achievements of stringent parameters at all the time, three Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) were being set in Ludhiana and Jalandhar for treating the industrial waste water.
The Chief Minister further said that all these CETPS would be made operational by June 30, 2015, which would help in ensuring zero discharge of untreated water in these canals. He also instructed the officers of the Irrigation department to supply allocated share of river water to Rajasthan without any fluctuation. It was further agreed that the Pollution Control Authorities of Rajasthan and Punjab would undertake joint inspection of river water to monitor the quality of water being supplied to Rajasthan.
The Chief Minister also apprised Dr. Ram Pratap that the Punjab government had already been adhering to the stringent norms of Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level of 10 mg/per liter before discharge of treated sewage/effluents into rivers to rejuvenate the quality of river water for its safe utilization for irrigation purposes as against the BOD level of 30mg/per liter in the rest of the country. Similarly, the permitted COD level was 50mg/per liter in the state as against the COD level of 250 mg/per liter followed in the country.
Expressing his views the Punjab Irrigation Minister Mr. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon informed his Rajasthan counterpart that a cross regulator was being constructed on the tail of Sirhind Feeder to stop its back flow and assured Dr. Ram Pratap that this would be completed within a year thereby meeting a long pending demand of Rajasthan government to check back flow of the Feeder.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ram Pratap thanked the Punjab Chief Minister for the positive outcome of the issues raised by him and expressed gratitude on behalf of the Rajasthan CM that relining of the RF and SF would go a long way in supplying adequate water to the farmers of Rajasthan without any wastage on account of seepage, which had resulted in the problem of water logging in the south west districts of the Punjab. He hoped with the relining of these canals the menace of water logging would also eventually come to an end thereby mitigating the enormous hardships faced by the local farmers of the Malwa belt in the state.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Cabinet Minister Mr. Surjit Kumar Jiyani, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. KJS Cheema, Secretary Irrigation Mr. Kahan Singh Pannu, Chief Engineer Canals Mr. AS Dulat, former Chairman PPCB Mr. Ravinder Singh and Secretary PPCB Mr. Babu Ram.
Rajasthan Water Resources Minister Dr. Ram Pratap was accompanied by Secretary Water Resources Mr. Ajitabh Sharma.