In a significant development,the Punjab government on Tuesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it would withdraw 40-MGD water exclusively from phase V and VI of Kajauli water works to meet the requirements of Mohali. Punjab has also agreed to lay a pipeline with a larger diameter.
Now,Chandigarh will have to bear 50 per cent cost of the pipeline and 100 per cent cost of new head works at Bhakra Main Line,as the existing head works have a capacity of just 120 MGD.
An affidavit was filed by the Punjab Secretary,Department of Housing and Urban Development,in the high court during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding augmentation of Phase V and VI of Kajauli water works.
The affidavit stated that Punjab had agreed to lay larger diameter pipeline for carrying 80-MGD water. This was being done at the instance of Chandigarh and also keeping in view the technical feasibility,obviating in the process the need for a separate pipeline and land acquisition. Work for completion of phase V and VI will be over by August 2014. The work of laying pipeline carrying 80-MGD water has begun, read the affidavit.
A single main pipeline of 40-MGD capacity under phase V and VI was to be laid from Kajauli to Mohali by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority(GMADA) for exclusive use of Punjab. Chandigarh was to lay a pipeline for phase VII and VIII for 40 MGD after acquisition of land.
Punjab also claimed that Chandigarh could not seek directions to the Punjab and Haryana governments to release water to UT. For this,UT will have to approach the Supreme Court.
Reiterating its stand that it took on the previous hearing,the Punjab government submitted that a dispute relating to water could not be made subject matter of petition either in the Supreme Court or high court,because inter-state water dispute were covered by the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956,which barred the jurisdictions of court. Such disputes were to be settled through tribunal.
It was also stated that Punjab had agreed to release 60 per cent of its share of 40-MGD water to Chandigarh,provided Haryana agreed to release its 40 per cent share of water and gave consent to Chandigarh for construction of new head works at the Bhakra Main Line.
The sharing pattern will be as per the 1983 agreement. It was also clarified that 40-MGD water to be used exclusively for Punjab will be adjusted against the share of Punjab at the BML.
As the demand in the PIL had been met,the high court rendered the PIL infructuous. The petitioner,Kuljeet Singh Bedi,a Mohali Councillor,had petitioned the high court seeking directions to expedite the completion of phase V and VI of Kajauli water works,which would bring an additional 40 million gallon water every day for Mohali.