The Rajasthan government has raised strong objections to the direct flow of polluted water into the Indira Gandhi Canal. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written a letter to Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann regarding the issue. He has urged Mann to complete the construction of STP and CETP under the Budha Nullah Rejuvenation Project in Punjab on time and to stop the flow of untreated waste directly into the rivers/nullahs.
"Rajasthan is getting polluted water from Harike barrage. There has been a demand from time to time by the farmers and general public of this area to stop the supply of polluted water," said Gehlot in his letter to Mann.
Notably, Rajasthan receives its share of water from Ravi-Beas and Sutlej rivers from the Harike barrage. The polluted water from Ludhiana city of Punjab through Budha Nullah and the urban and industrial waste of cities/towns situated near Sutlej river through drains flows through Harike barrage and the water coming from the Harike barrage is released into the Rajasthan feeder (Indira Gandhi feeder) and Ferozepur feeder. This water is used for irrigation and drinking purposes through the Indira Gandhi feeder in western Rajasthan and the Ferozepur feeder in the Hanumangarh and Sri Ganganagar districts of Rajasthan.
Gehlot said that because of the seriousness of the matter, on August 28, 2022, a joint inspection of Budha Nullah and Sutlej river was done by the Principal Secretary of the Water Resources Department with the officials of Punjab and Rajasthan. During the inspection, it was found that the untreated waste is flowing into Budha Nullah which is reaching Harike barrage through river Sutlej. The officials of the Municipal Corporation and Punjab Pollution Board informed that STP and CETP are under construction for the treatment of waste.
Gehlot further 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.