Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday has written a letter to his Punjab counterpart, Bhagwant Mann, drawing the latter’s attention to the issue of “untreated water” coming from Punjab into the canals of Rajasthan.
In the letter, Gehlot urged Mann to direct his officials to complete the construction of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) under Punjab’s Buddha Nullah Rejuvenation Project on time and to stop the flow of untreated waste directly into the rivers/nullahs.
“Rajasthan receives its share of water from Ravi-Beas and Sutlej rivers from Harike barrage. The polluted water of Ludhiana city of Punjab through Budha Nullah and the urban and industrial waste of cities/towns situated near Sutlej river through drains reaches Harike barrage, ” he said in the letter.
Gehlot wrote in the letter that the water coming from Harike barrage is released into the Rajasthan feeder (Indira Gandhi feeder) and the Ferozepur feeder.
Water is provided for irrigation and drinking purposes through Indira Gandhi feeder in western Rajasthan and through Ferozepur feeder in Hanumangarh and Sri Ganganagar districts, he added while pointing out that “Rajasthan is getting polluted water from Harike barrage”.
There has been a demand from time to time by the farmers and general public of this area to stop the supply of polluted water, he said.
Gehlot informed Mann that in view of the seriousness of the matter, on August 28, 2022, joint inspection of Budha Nullah and Sutlej river was done by the Principal Secretary of Water Resources Department with the officials of Punjab and Rajasthan. During inspection it was found that the untreated waste is flowing into Budha Nullah which is reaching Harike barrage through river Sutlej.
The Rajasthan Chief Minister expressed hope that “positive steps would be taken by the Punjab government on this sensitive issue related to the health of the people of the state”.