Punjab CM Amarinder Singh seeks central assistance to reinforce Ghaggar embankments
The division of Punjab in 1966 had led to the Ghaggar river passing under the control of the CWC, resulting in the state relinquishing the task of maintaining its embankments, the Chief Minister said.
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday blamed the Akalis for control of the Ghaggar river passing to the Central Water Commission, and said he would press the Centre to reinforce the embankments of the river, which has flooded parts of Sangrur and Patiala districts, damaging 60,000 acres of crops.
The division of Punjab by the Akalis in 1966 had led to Ghaggar river going into the hands of the CWC, causing the state to lose control over maintenance of its embankments, he said, adding that the Akalis had even stopped the reinforcement work undertaken by him in his previous term. His government, during his last term, had completed reinforcement of 22 km of the embankments, after which all work was suspended by the previous SAD-BJP government, he added.
The CM on Tuesday did an aerial survey of the damage caused by the flooding. Calling on Haryana to join hands with Punjab to resolve the issue, Amarinder said the bunds of the Ghaggar in both Punjab and Haryana need to be strengthened and made motorable, wherever possible, to avoid a repeat of the floods.
Pointing out that Punjab had submitted a proposal for taming the Ghaggar six years ago to the CWC, he said the body had, in March this year, ordered a feasibility study by an independent agency. He said he would ask the Union government to direct the CWC to give the necessary clearance expeditiously to allow Punjab to undertake Phase 2 of the project from Makror Sahib to Karail.
The CM flew over Rajpura, Ghanaur and Shatrana before stopping at Moonak in Sangrur. He said about 50,000 acres of crops had been lost in Patiala and another 10,000 acres in Sangrur due to the breach in the catchment area of Ghaggar.