Punjab, Haryana row over canal wall reaches PM

July 16th, 2011 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chandigarh, July 16 (IANS) The ongoing row between Punjab and Haryana over the latter’s decision to construct a concrete wall along the embankment of a controversial canal has reached the prime minister’s door.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi to seek his personal intervention to immediately resolve the contentious issue of the Hansi-Butana canal and the wall being constructed along it, a state government spokesman said here.

Badal urged the prime minister to direct Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to stop the on-going construction of concrete wall along the left bank of the canal.

He alleged that the Haryana government was deliberately constructing the wall to block the natural flow of water during floods, blatantly ignoring the warning of technical experts and engineers.

“Such a reckless step could cause major devastation, leading to huge loss of lives, cattle, houses and crops in Punjab due to floods, like last year,” Badal said, adding that Haryana has constructed the canal despite the fact no water has been allocated so far to the state for it.

He contended the unilateral action of Haryana in raising this wall ignoring inter-state treaties could have long-term ramifications. It could set a wrong precedent for other states to replicate Haryana’s “illegal” action on all such inter-state disputes leading to total anarchy in the country, he said.

Both states have been engaged in a bitter war of words in recent weeks over the issue of the canal and the wall.

Punjab has also approached the Supreme Court, objecting to the canal.

Badal had this week warned Haryana that if Haryana went ahead with the construction of the wall, Punjab could initiate steps by constructing dams on rivers (in Punjab) and restricting flow of water into Haryana.

Hooda Tuesday criticised the Punjab government for raking up the controversy, alleging it was politicising the issue with the state assembly elections nearing.

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