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Centre urged to include Punjab in Atal Bhujal Yojana

Tribune News Service: Chandigarh, January 31

Punjab Water Resources and Soil and Water Conservation Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra today urged the Union government to incorporate Punjab into the Atal Bhujal Yojana.

The minister highlighted the need in a meeting with Rajya Sabha Member Balbir Singh Seechewal over safeguarding water resources. Emphasising that there was an urgent need for inclusion as Punjab is in a critical stage due to continuous groundwater depletion, he alleged that the Union Government was not paying any heed despite constant correspondence from the state government.

He also urged MP Seechewal to take up the issue strongly with the Union Government. Meanwhile, Seechewal said that as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources, he had strongly objected to the exclusion of Punjab and had also written to include the state in this scheme.

Addressing another concern raised by the Rajya Sabha MP regarding the construction of a road on the Dhusi Bundh of the Sutlej River, Jouramajra instructed the officials to coordinate with the Punjab Mandi Board for prompt implementation in this regard. He said that the riverside road construction would fortify Dhusi embankment, preventing breaches during floods.

The Cabinet Minister also directed department officials to ensure the cleanliness of rivers for effective rainwater drainage before the commencement of the rains.

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