Monday, January 20th, 2020

Haryana Government has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to immediately restore state’s legitimate share in Yamuna river waters

INVC,, NCR,, Haryana Government has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to immediately restore state’s legitimate share in Yamuna river waters upstream of the Okhla Barrage. The Haryana Irrigation and Finance Minister, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav has, in a written communication addressed to Irrigation and Public Works Department Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Nasimuddin Siddiqui has said that the denial of the rightful share has made the districts of Faridabad, Palwal, Mewat and parts of Gurgaon starve and suffer badly. The area under irrigation has depleted in these districts and the agricultural produce has been affected. The brewing resentment among the farmers of these districts had found a resounding echo on the floor of the Haryana Assembly during the last session, with a large number of legislators venting their ire on the issue. Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, pointed out that the off-takes of Agra Canal in Haryana territory channels got significantly less discharge, ranging from 31 per cent to 70 per cent, than the discharge shown in their water accounts. Worse still, the discharge released into channels is not on a regular basis for a pre-determined period/ rotational programme, but is highly erratic. Resultantly, the water fails to reach the middle and tail reaches of the channels. For instance, canal supplies in Modal and Hassanpur distributory reached up to the tail-end for only 22 days and 17 days, respectively during the last 15 years, he said. Capt Yadav stated that on the basis of the notional inflows at the Okhla Barrage, four--monthly (seasonal) distribution of available shareable water has been made to govern the day-to-day distribution of Yamuna water at Okhla for Haryana, Rajasthan and UP. Lending his case the teeth of facts and figures, Capt Yadav pointed out that the discharges in the Gurgaon Canal Feeder and channels off-taking from Agra Canal and serving Haryana for the last five years, revealed that there was grave discrepancy in the actual discharges shown in the UP channels serving Palwal district, and the actual discharges received in these channels. “The point of concern is the fact that the methodology used for computation of shareable water at Okhla by the UP irrigation authorities is based on discharges in Agra Canal at mile 11. The quantum of water through Hindon cut canal, on which Haryana irrigation has no control, is subtracted to calculate the discharge in the river upstream of Okhla Barrage. The formula used results in negative discharges sometimes which is beyond logic”, the minister contended. “It is requested that the legitimate share of the state may kindly be ensured for the farming community of Haryana who are dependent upon the canal supplies in view of the fact that the underground water in this portion is highly brackish, and is not fit for agricultural and drinking purposes”, Capt Yadav said. The Minister asked how the share of Haryana could be negative when there was sufficient inflow in the Yamuna in Delhi territory reaching Okhla Barrage. The methodology has been challenged by the Haryana Irrigation Department in Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB), and the location of discharge measurement site on Yamuna itself to calculate inflows upstream of Okhla Barrage, was decided at the UYRB meeting held on November 27,2009. However, the decision taken at the meeting is yet to be implemented, and this fact has been repeatedly emphasized by Haryana at the subsequent meetings of UYRB. However, the UP irrigation authorities are not allowing implementation on one pretext or the other. The regulatory and administrative control of Okhla Barrage as well as that of off-taking channels down-stream i.e. Agra Canal, head Gurgaon Canal Feeder and channels off taking from Agra Canal but serving Haryana area in Palwal District, rest with the UP Irrigation Department and the Haryana Irrigation Department can’t intervene in the matter. The MOU, signed on May 12, 1994, governs the allocation of the Yamuna waters at the Taiewala and Okhla Barrage to the beneficiary states that is UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.

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