Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged his counterpart in Punjab that a direct flow of polluted water into rivers and streams through Harike barrage be stopped forthwith as it was causing health problems in the state. .
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, Gehlot told Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in his letter here yesterday.
Gehlot drew Mann’s attention to the water flowing into the canals of the state from the downstream of Harike barrage.
Gehlot asked the Punjab CM to direct his government officials to complete the construction of STP and CETP under the Budha Nullah Rejuvenation Project in Punjab on time and to stop the flow of untreated waste directly into the rivers/nullahs.
Gehlot mentioned in his letter “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”.
CM further said, “The water coming from Harike barrage is released into Rajasthan feeder (Indira Gandhi feeder) and 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 wrote in the letter 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”.
On August 28, 2022, a joint inspection of Budha Nullah and Sutlej river was done by the Principal Secretary of the 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, according to his letter.
Whereas Municipal Corporation and Punjab Pollution Board have communicated to the Rajasthan government that STP and CETP are under construction for treatment of waste.
Punjab should take positive steps on this sensitive issue related to the health of the people of Rajasthan, Gehlot anticipated.