Punjab CM to call all-party meeting on depleting water table

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced an all-party meeting would be called soon to evolve a broad consensus to comprehensively address the problem of depletion of groundwater in the state.

The Chief Minister chaired a meeting of cabinet ministers, political leaders, senior officers, water experts, scientists and representatives of the farmer organizations and industry and discussed fast depleting groundwater table across the state.

Amarinder Singh said it was high time that the state tackled the problem for the future generations otherwise the fertile Punjab would soon be on the verge of becoming a desert.

“Posterity will not forgive us in case we fail to act now”, said the Chief Minister.

Sharing the underlying objective of calling the all-party meeting, the Chief Minister said it would provide a healthy platform for all parties to build a political consensus on the critical issue.

He said any complacency or laxity would virtually lead the state nowhere.

The Chief Minister also sought cooperation of all farmers and farmers’ organizations.

Narrating his personal experience while he was Agriculture Minister in the state way back in 1985-86, the Chief Minister pointed out the Eradi Commission constituted by the then Central Government assessed availability of water in the State at 17.1 MAF which has now reduced to 13.1 MAF in the past 30 years, adding that the climatic changes had reduced the glacier cover, causing a substantial fall in the groundwater level.

The Chief Minister also announced a committee under Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Viswajeet Khanna and Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University B.S. Dhillon to explore the possibility for changes in the existing cropping pattern.

(IANS))

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