Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged Punjab government to stop the waste water flowing into the canals of the state from the downstream of Harike barrage. In a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Gehlot urged the Punjab government to finish construction of a Sewage Treatment Plant and Common Effluent Treatment Plant to stop the flow of untreated waste directly into rivers and nallahs.
The STP and CETP are being built under the Budha Nala Rejuvenation Project in Punjab.
Gehlot said that Rajasthan receives its share of water from Ravi-Beas and Sutlej rivers from the Harike barrage, which is getting polluted with untreated water flowing into it from Ludhiana city of Punjab through Budha Nala, and other urban and industrial waste of cities situated near Sutlej river.
He said that the water coming from the Harike barrage is released in the Rajasthan feeder (Indira Gandhi feeder) and Firozpur feeder in Hanumangarh and Sri Ganganagar districts. This water is then used for irrigation and for drinking purposes. There has been a repeated demand by the farmers and common people of this area to stop the polluted water coming from Harike barrage, he said. Gehlot also said that in view of the seriousness of the matter, on August 28 this year, a joint inspection of Budha Nala and Sutlej river was done by officials of Punjab and Rajasthan.
He said that during the inspection it was found that untreated waste is flowing in Budha Nala which is reaching Harike barrage through Sutlej.
Gehlot expressed hope that positive steps would be taken by the Punjab government on this sensitive issue related to the health of the people of the state.