Ministers’ letters fail to make MP release dam water for UP

Despite letters from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and officials from the irrigation department,the Madhya Pradesh government’s Water Resource Department (WRD) has refused to release water from Ban Sagar Dam for Uttar Pradesh.

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published:July 2, 2013 4:19 am

Despite letters from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and officials from the irrigation department,the Madhya Pradesh government’s Water Resource Department (WRD) has refused to release water from Ban Sagar Dam for Uttar Pradesh.

Besides the CM,irrigation minister Shivpal Yadav,Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani and Principal Secretary (Irrigation),Sanjay Aggrawal,too,had written letters to the WRD in MP. The WRD claimed that water will be released only as per the inter-state agreement under the guidelines of Central Water Commission (CWC) and not as desired by the UP government through pressure tactics.

“Even Akhilesh wrote a letter to his MP counterpart,asking to release the water as we are ready with the first phase of Ban Sagar project on our side,benefitting nearly 50,000 hectares of land. They are not releasing the water,” Aggrawal said.

Special Secretary (Irrigation) Shafiq Hussain said that UP has sent several letter in this regard,“but there has been no breakthrough. We have called our chief engineer Rakesh Verma tomorrow to discuss the things again,” Hussain said.

The WRD,however,claimed that it will stick to the inter-state agreement on water sharing. “We are a fair-minded state and will not succumb to pressure tactics. Such tactics can work in their state but not here. They are distorting the facts. We cannot entertain their request,” Principal Secretary,WRD,Radheyshyam Julaniya told The Indian Express over phone.

Julaniya claimed that UP had requested for the release of water in May. “They claimed it was for canal-testing. Next,they came up with the reason ‘for drinking purpose’. We denied it because as per the agreement,water can be released only for power generation and irrigation purpose. Water cannot be wasted as it is public property. Let the irrigation season come and then we will release the water but not for canal-testing purpose now,” Julaniya stated.

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