In a significant development, the Sanyukta Kisan Samiti has passionately appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate action and prevent the supply of thousands of cusecs of water to Pakistan through the Ferozepur and Madhopur headworks during the upcoming monsoon season.
At a press conference held today at the Ganganagar Traders Association complex, Kuldeep Bishnoi, former chief engineer in the Rajasthan Water Resources Department and coordinator with counterparts in Punjab, highlighted the dire consequences of continuing the water supply to Pakistan. He emphasized that by ceasing the supply, the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana would receive additional water, bringing relief to farmers in these regions.
Bishnoi explained that as per an order from the Bhakra Beas Management Board, the dams were being filled to only 90 percent of their total capacity. Consequently, the reduced flow of canal water in the area has led to a decrease in crop production, directly affecting the farmers in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana.
He further recalled the unfortunate incident in which Maj Gen BN Kumar, the chairman of the Bhakra Beas Management Board, was assassinated by suspected militants on November 7, 1988, following the flooding of the Mand area in Punjab. In response to this incident, the BBMB decided in their meeting held on August 19, 1990, to fill the dam 10 percent less than its total capacity. The excess water was then redirected to Pakistan, while canals in Punjab and neighboring states were restricted from carrying water to their prescribed capacity. Bishnoi emphasized that revoking the decision made on August 19, 1990, would allow the canals in their states to receive additional water, easing the water crisis.
To address this pressing issue, the Samiti has sent a three-page memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jal Shakti Minister Gajinder Singh Shekhawat, urgently seeking their intervention. The memorandum calls for the withdrawal of the decision to keep the dams empty and emphasizes the need to halt the supply of water to Pakistan through the Ferozepur and Madhopur headworks.
The Samiti’s appeal underscores the critical importance of water security for India’s agricultural sector and the welfare of farmers. Prompt action to address this issue is crucial to ensure the sustenance of crops and the prosperity of farmers in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana.