Opposition stages walkout in state assembly

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Jaipur, Feb 26 (UNI) The Opposition Congress today expressed dissatisfaction over the Rajasthan government's efforts in securing adequate water from Punjab for irrigating crops in canal areas in Rajasthan and staged a walk out from the state Assembly.

The issue figured in the house during the Zero Hour by B D Kalla and others through an adjournment motion notice to highlight the fallouts of inadequate supply on the growing crop of wheat, Gram (Chana) in canal areas in Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Bikaner districts.

The members including Mr Kalla, Leader of the Opposition Hemaram Chaudhary, Lok Janshakti Party MLA Ranvir Singh Guda and Communist member Amara Ram were unhappy over the government's "apathy" over farmers' miseries.

Irrigation Minister Sanwar Lal Jat said that his department provided adequate water in canals for irrigation for mustard growers, however, there was problem for wheat, barley and chana growers due to less availability of water in the Pong dam.

Mr Kalla and others were not satisfied with the reply.

Mr Kalla said that the level in the Pong dam was 1,300 Ft where as the water supply was made from the dam till the water level of 1,262 Ft during the Congress regime in Rajasthan, therefore, the state government officials should make efforts with its Punjab counterpart to persue it for release of water for our farmers.

Mr Jat said that the then Congress Government in Rajasthan was responsible for accepting 0.6 MAF water less in 1981 interstate agreement involving, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.

His reply annoyed the Congress members and Mr Kalla countered Mr Jat by saying that actually that fraction of water was not reduced from Rajasthan's share but the agreeemnt was to reach on the point that till the due development of distribution of tributaries' system in Rajasthan, Punjab for the time would be allowed to utilise that fraction of water from Rajasthan's share.

He said that since the distribution system had now been developed in Rajasthan the state government should make efforts to secure that fraction of 0.6 MAF water from Punjab and if necessary, should take poliitcal and/or legal recourse to achieve it.

He said that Congress would support the government in this task as a unanimous resolve had already been adopted by this house long ago.

Leader of the Opposition Mr Chaudhary said that the state government should take up the matter with Punjab Government and should ensure release of water to save the wheat crop of farmers.

The Irrigation Minister said that a team of officials had gone to Punjab to make efforts and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was also in touch with Punjab Government. He also asked why Congress and Communist members did not seek UPA Government's help in this matter.

Opposition members dissatified over the Minister's reply staged a walk out.


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