Misl Satluj’s Urgent Call for Action on Punjab’s Water Crisis

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Misl Satluj’s Urgent Call for Action on Punjab's Water Crisis

Misl Satluj, a socio-political outfit today announced it would launch a massive agitation if the water crisis in the state is not resolved within the next 90 days. This is in continuation of Mudki Morcha demands, which were partially met. The first phase to stop the concrete lining of Rajasthan feeder canal from Harike to Faridkot was stopped.

Ajaypal Singh Brar, President of Misl Satluj while addressing the media at Chandigarh Press Club here, said, “Punjab is facing an acute water crisis. Borewells have dried up, leaving some villages dependent on tankers. The state’s water demand exceeds 50 million acre-feet (MAF), but only 28.5 MAF of river water flows through Punjab. A significant portion of this water is further allocated to Rajasthan and Haryana, both non-riparian states.”

Brar elaborated on the key issues, leading to water crisis in the state:

Increased water demand due to rapid industrialization: Punjab’s rapid urbanization requires river water commercial and residential needs in urban areas. Presently the demand is being met with borewell from deep aquifers, which may contain carcinogenic elements and 22 lac submersible pumps.

Outdated Water Allocations: Current agricultural water allocations are based on outdated pre-Green Revolution levels, providing only 3.05 cusecs for Malwa and 1.9 cusecs for Doaba. These amounts are insufficient and are further reduced by the dilapidated state of the canal network.

Severe Pollution: Industrial waste from Ludhiana’s dyeing and electroplating units is contaminating the Satluj River through Budda Nalah. This waste is often dumped untreated or pumped back through reverse boring. Similar pollution issues affect Taunsa, Rail Majra, , Mohali district and other areas of Punjab

Misl Satluj’s Demands:

 Devinder Singh Sekhon, another senior leader of Misl Satluj laid stress on the demands of Misl Satluj. He stressed on the need to update water allocations by recalibrating agricultural water allowances to 7 cusecs to meet current needs.

Sekhon said river water should be used to supply urban areas for drinking purposes and there was a need to urgently repair and maintain the canal infrastructure to ensure adequate water distribution.

Misl Satluj stands firmly against the pollution of water and air, he said, adding, “We demand immediate action from the government to address major pollution sources like Budda Nalah.”

“We urge the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to pass a resolution declaring Punjab as the sole owner of all river water flowing through the state. This resolution should nullify all previous water-sharing agreements with other states.”

Sekhon said, Misl Satluj was giving the government a three-month notice period to resolve these demands. If these demands are not met, Misl Satluj will launch a stir to press for necessary action.

He added, Misl Satluj is committed to ensuring supply of unpolluted river water for agricultural, commercial and residential needs of the people of Punjab. Our party aims to address these critical issues promptly and effectively. We will not tolerate any delay in protecting Punjab’s vital water resources.

Moonstar Kaur also spoke on the occasion, about the water pollution in the state.

 A Dangerous Misconception

Punjab has abundant river water but denies Haryana and Rajasthan their rightful shares, causing harmful hostility. In reality, Punjab’s river water has decreased to 26.5 M.A.F. Rajasthan takes 11.2 M.A.F., and Haryana 7.83 M.A.F. from Punjab’s rivers, along with 5.6 M.A.F. from the Yamuna and 1.1 M.A.F. from the Ghaggar. Punjab is left with 9.47 M.A.F. Despite its larger area (50,362 sq. km vs. Haryana’s 44,212 sq. km), Punjab gets less water. To compensate, Punjab uses around 1.5 million tubewells, depleting subsoil reserves and causing soil and health issues. According to the Helsinki Rules and Indian Constitution, Punjab, as the riparian state, is entitled to its river water. Sadly, Punjab’s leaders are not highlighting these facts.

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