In the backdrop of river water sharing disputes, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said that agreements arrived at in the past must be honoured by the states. At a meeting of northern states chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Chandigarh, he complained that Haryana was suffering as Punjab was not releasing
water due to it and voiced concern over excess river water being allowed to flow into Pakistan.
“Since our faith in the Constitution of India is full and unflinching we would never hesitate in taking legal recourse in our determination to safeguard our interests and to protect the rights of the residents of the state,” Khattar said.
At the same time, the chief minister said his government is willing to work towards an “amicable settlement” of every issue.
Haryana is a water stressed state as against the demand of 36.0 MAF water, the availability of water is only 14.7 MAF, he said at the meeting of Northern Zonal Council (NZC). “We have to give, out of our own share in the Yamuna waters, extra water to Delhi in compliance of the apex court’s orders, even as Punjab is not delivering Haryana’s full share of the Ravi-Beas water,” he said.
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He also urged the Union government to expedite the construction of Renuka, Kishau and Lakhwar-Vyasi dams on river Yamuna.
He said that it is also a matter of concern that even after the signing of the Indus Water Treaty in 1960, more than 3 MAF of water is being allowed to flow into Pakistan. The chief minister said that the supplies in river Yamuna have been dwindling over the recent years and there being no dam on it, precious water goes waste during the monsoon season.
It is “most unfortunate” that thousands of villages in Haryana and millions of hectares of land are even today bereft of the water that is our due from Punjab, he said. Khattar said that “we are not in agreement with the Punjab government on their proposal of exclusive investment in the Bhakra Main Line Canal and exclusive utilization f the electricity generated there”. He said that on the matter of the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste from Delhi, Haryana’s concerns about disposal and storage of the waste must be kept in mind,while finalising the details of the project.
He said the project should be as per norms and not detrimental to the quality of life of the residents of the area. He hoped that the deliberations held would help to evolve a consensus on several inter-state and Centre-state issues. “I am sure we will never lose sight of the important aspect of promotion of cooperative federalism even as we remain engaged in the task of building a modern, strong and developed India”, he said.