Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday urged Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat to issue directions for expediting construction of the second Ravi-Beas Link project to enable the country to harness waters of eastern rivers of Indus Basin.

He said his State proposed a second Ravi-Beas Link well aware of the significance of the Indus Water Treaty in ensuring utilisation of India’s legitimate share of water in Ravi river which is otherwise flowing to Pakistan.

“Though the Government of India declared it as a national project in 2008, little headway has been made on this front,” Hooda said. He was addressing a gathering as part of the Golden jubilee celebrations of Bhakra Nangal Dam at Nangal in Rupnagar district of Punjab.

Hooda said waters of eastern rivers of Indus Basin have been allocated to India for unrestricted use under the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. In this context, it is imperative to ensure that every drop of water from these rivers is utilised for the benefit of the nation. It calls for a joint effort, he added.

Congratulating the entire country on the Golden Jubilee of Bhakra Dam, Rawat Said, the dam accounts for eight per cent of the total irrigated areas of the country. “Electification of every village in Punjab and Haryana will not have been possible without this project,” he noted.

Rawat also announced Diwali bonanza of two months’ salary to the employees of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as incentive. Also Hooda gave `51 lakhs to BBMB. A B Agrawal, chairman of BBMB said the board was proud to celebrate the Golden jubilee of Bhakra Dam that changed the fortunes of the entire nation. “It gave the country its food and fruit bowl, and energy for industrial expansion and domestic consumption. The BBMB will continue to raise the bar of excellence it has set for itself in times to come,” he said.

The Bhakra Dam was dedicated to the nation by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, on October 22, 1963. Situated at Bhakra Village of Bilaspur about 13 km upstream from Nangal township, it is one of the highest concrete straight gravity dam in the world. Its lake ‘Gobind Sagar’, named after Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji, is about 96.56 km long and covers an area of about 168.35 sq km. It is the largest reservoir in India.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express