Chetan Singh Jauramajra urges union government to include Punjab in Atal Bhujal Yojana

Chandigarh, January 31:

Expressing concern over the unaddressed requests of the state government, Punjab Water Resources and Soil & Water Conservation Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra urged the union government to incorporate Punjab into the Atal Bhujal Yojana.

Emphasizing the urgent need for inclusion the Punjab as the state is facing a critical situation due to continuous groundwater depletion, he lamented that the union government was not paying any heed despite constant correspondence from the state government.

During a discussion on safeguarding water resources from pollution and preventing the decline of groundwater levels, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra in a meeting with Rajya Sabha Member Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal at the Punjab Civil Secretariat, highlighted the repeated attempts by the Water Resources Department to draw attention of the union government towards the major issue. He also urged Sant Seechewal to strongly advocate for Punjab’s inclusion in the scheme with the union government.

Criticizing the union government for excluding Punjab from the Atal Bhujal Scheme, which is designed to assist states facing severe groundwater issues, the Cabinet Minister said that despite the state’s alarming groundwater situation, the central government has been continuously neglecting the state, which has over-exploited its precious natural resource to brim the national food stock.

Meanwhile, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal said that as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources, he already strongly objected to the exclusion of Punjab under this scheme and had also written to include Punjab in this scheme.

Addressing another concern raised by Sant Seechewal regarding the construction of a road on the Dhusi Bundh of the Sutlej River, S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra instructed the officials to coordinate with the Punjab Mandi Board for prompt implementation in this regard. He said that the riverside road construction would fortify Dhusi embankment, preventing breaches during floods.

The Cabinet Minister also directed department officials to ensure the cleanliness of rivers for effective rainwater drainage before the commencement of the rains, while stressing to accelerate cleaning works to mitigate potential damage.

Prominent amongst other who were present in the meeting included; Principal Secretary Water Resources Mr. Krishan Kumar, Chief Engineer (Drainage) Mr. Hardeep Singh Mendiratta, Chief Engineer (Canals) Mr. Sher Singh and other officials.

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