Punjab Govt tells High Court this is not a feasible option to save the drying lake
Terming it too expensive an exercise,the Punjab government today submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would not be feasible to bring water from the Patiala ki Rao or Ghaggar river into the Sukhna Lake. The minutes of a meeting jointly held by representatives of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh on finding a solution for saving the Sukhna Lake were placed on record before the High Court during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL). After having a detailed discussion,the officials opined that it would not be feasible to fetch water from Patiala ki Rao or Ghaggar river.
To find a practical and feasible solution,the Chandigarh Administration has approached the National Institute of Hydrology. Senior standing counsel for UT Administration,Sanjay Kaushal today told the High Court that the Administration has approached the Institute and that the Institute is carrying out a study.
On the other hand,amicus curiae in the case,Advocate Tanu Bedi sought directions from the Court to implead Ministry of Water Resources a respondent in the PIL. Bedi averred that experts in water management be consulted to ensure that catchment area is well connected. The Bench orally remarked that urbanization has stopped the water. The division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh impleaded the Ministry a party to the PIL and directed the National Institute of Hydrology to complete its study and submit the report within a month.
The Bench today also asked the Institute to study the feasibility of diverting the flow of water from Patiala-Ki-Rao or Ghaggar River into the Sukhna Lake. On the previous date of hearing,the High Court had asked chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana to put their heads together with Advisor to the UT Administrator to find an alternative source of water supply to Sukhna Lake. The directions came after Kaushal said water could not reach the Sukhna lake from the catchment area due to deficient rain. The High Court earlier had asked the Chandigarh Administration to release water from the check dams into it.
The Bench had also refused to vacate the stay on construction in the Lakes catchment area,even though a demand for the same was raised by a law officer for Punjab. It had also sought a report on authorised and unauthorised construction till March 14 last,when building activity of any kind in the catchment area was prohibited.