Centre stalling Ghaggar project: Sukhbir

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Munak (Punjab), Feb 21 (PTI) Punjab Deputy ChiefMinister Sukhbir Singh Badal today lashed out at Congress-ledUPA government at the Centre for "deliberately stalling" thework on Rs 432 crore project for channelising Ghaggar river.

"Punjab will not take the delaying and arm twistingtactics of the Centre by keeping this project in limbo aftercompletion of its first phase," he said, while addressing apublic rally on the banks of Ghaggar here in Sangrur district.

"The Congress party has always been discriminatingagainst Punjab since its re-organisation in 1966.

Discriminatory bias of Congress against Punjab is evident fromthe fact that for this state only the international riparianprinciple was ignored," Badal said.

He said SAD would utilise "every available democraticforum to ensure that not a single drop of water of Punjab isgiven to other states."

"We are committed to protect water rights of Punjab,"he said.

Speaking on the Ghagghar project, Badal said aftermuch persuasion at every level, the Union government in late1990s approved this project because of annual monsoon fury inthe river.

He said after completion of first phase, spanning over25-km, at a cost of Rs 113 crore, the Centre has "stalled thework of channelisation as it was imposing an unwrittencondition on Punjab not to oppose the remaining two phases ofHansi Butana Canal being constructed by Haryana."

The deputy chief minister claimed that Haryana withoutthe sanction of Union government and Central Water Commissionhad constructed Hansi Butana Canal, which is against thenatural flow of rain water from Punjab and is acting as anartificial dam that would cause floods every monsoon.

He said Punjab government had submitted video proofsto the Union government and Central Water Commission againstthe construction of this canal.

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