CHANDIGARH: The AAP Thursday accused the Amarinder government of ignoring the issue of water management despite a looming water crisis in the state.
Ruing that despite being an agrarian state, Punjab is yet to have a state water policy, senior AAP leader and MLA Aman Arora said the present Congress government is sleeping over the issue like the previous SAD-BJP government did.
"The Amarinder Singh government is directionless on the issue of groundwater management in the state," said the AAP's Sunam MLA.
"Despite being an agrarian state, Punjab is yet to have a state water policy to end the looming water crisis here," he added.
He said the state was facing acute water scarcity "due to the laidback stance of the previous SAD-BJP regime and now the present Congress government".
He emphasised that a 'state water policy' is the need of the hour to check the fast depleting ground water table in the state.
The excessive use of groundwater would render the state's prime land barren, he warned.
"In comparison to the available 17. 54 MAF (million acre-feet) groundwater, Punjab's 14 lakh tube wells are pulling out 29.01 MAF of water every year, randomly causing depletion of groundwater level by 40 cm annually," Arora said in a statement.
"It is a matter of grave concern," he added. He said out of its total share of 245. 62 MAF water during the last 37 years, the state utilised only 227.67 MAF water, relinquishing 17.95 MAF of its allotted quota which could have irrigated at least 1.25 lakh acres of land in the state.
The AAP MLA said the state government should go ahead with formulating a 'groundwater use policy' at the earliest to check the alarming depletion rate of groundwater and save the state's prime land from becoming barren.
He said it was unfortunate that Punjab, despite being an agrarian state and known as the land of five rivers, has been suffering for the past 70 years due to lack of regular water policy.
The AAP leader said Punjab needed to adopt world-class technology on the groundwater management to check the alarming depletion of groundwater level in the state.