Chandigarh, Mar 13 (UNI) The Centre has included the Haryana government's proposal for creating a second Ravi-Beas Link in the 14 National Projects to be taken up under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Projects (AIBP).
Stating this here today, Haryana Irrigation Minister Capt Ajay Singh said the Centre had shown statesmanship by declaring such a large number of projects as National Projects involving an investment of Rs 53,200 crore.
He said Haryana had suggested the creation of second Ravi-Beas Link so that the large quantity of Ravi water, which belonged to India under the Indus Water Treaty, did not keep flowing to Pakistan.
Also, Haryana had mentioned that it would increase the total availability of water in India and it would also be easier to provide the allocated share to all basin states.
He said the state government had earlier suggested that an automatic gauge monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC) be installed on river Ravi, just before the point where it enters Pakistan so that the quantity of water flowing to Pakistan can be again ascertained.
Earlier, Army authorities had conveyed that a huge quantity of water continues to flow to Pakistan. Surprisingly, this logical suggestion of Haryana met with serious opposition from Punjab and they took the strange stand that a Central organisation like CWC would not be allowed to install and monitor the gauge, he said.
Punjab took the plea that they were monitoring the flow and nothing was going to Pakistan and their word should be accepted as final.
The Minister said now, when the proposed second link would increase the availability of water for everyone, Punjab was again raising objections. ''It appears that once the feasibility studies for this project start, the truth about the quantity of water flowing to Pakistan will be known to everyone. It is unfortunate that some leaders in Punjab are willing to sacrifice national interests just to gain popularity.'' MORE UNI MA RSA BD2320