Water conservation: Haryana for setting up of national fund

Asking National Water Resources Council to deliberate on modalities for resolving inter-state water-related issues, Haryana Friday advocated setting up of a national fund to promote measures for conservation of water.

Haryana also rejected Punjab's suggestion that neighbouring states sharing river waters should also share the cost of flood management.

At the 6th Council meeting here, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Haryana has suffered in this regard as it neither got water from Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal despite Supreme Court orders nor did it get its share in Ravi-Beas waters, as its tribunal's final award has not been published.

On his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal's suggestion made yesterday that neighbouring states should share flood management expenses and cost of repair of flood damage, Hooda rejected the demand as "absurd" and said each state has to deal with its floods and other calamities.

Hooda lamented that Punjab enacted a law terminating water related agreements and the Centre has allowed the Presidential Reference on it to linger on for more than eight years. "This is unfair to the people of Haryana. The people of Haryana have several other grievances also," he said.

He welcomed the proposal to set up a permanent Water Disputes Tribunal at the centre to resolve disputes, but sought timely implementation of orders/directions of various tribunals and courts in this regard.

Welcoming the proposal to constitute River Basin authorities, Hooda said representation should not be made only from those states which have only nominal area in the basin.

The Haryana Chief Minister also welcomed the setting up of Water Regulatory authorities.

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