The Indian Express – Brimming reservoirs gush to Pakistan, but not to taps in parched Punjab

Barring 30-40 per cent of this water being used in the state for irrigating the summer crops, the remaining drained out to Pakistan and other Indian states, including Rajasthan, through the canal network.

Anju Agnihotri Chaba

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 15 June 2019. In around one and half months, beginning April-end to June 12, around 2,060 million cubic metres (MCM) water was released from three dam reservoirs built over three major rivers of Punjab, Bhakra dam on Sutlej, Pong dam on Beas and Ranjit Sagar dam on Ravi.

And barring 30-40 per cent of this water being used in the state for irrigating the summer crops, the remaining drained out to Pakistan and other Indian states, including Rajasthan, through the canal network.

While on the face of it these figures from the Central Water Commission (CWC) back the state government’s argument of releasing excess water downstream to prevent flooding during monsoons in Punjab, they also underline the state’s failure to utilise a readily available resource to meet supply gap in urban areas and to recharge a fast depleting ground water table.

Amid a raging controversy over the flow of excess water from Punjab’s rivers to Pakistan, a senior officer at Bhakhra dam said: “It is better to give water to Pakistan instead creating flood-like situation in Punjab during the monsoon.”

Another official added: “All the water is released as per the consent of the officials from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan.”

Asked if this water could have been used in the Punjab and Haryana to supply to the urban areas during summers and for recharging the ground water, the officer added that it was the responsibility of the state government to make required reservoirs and plans for this purpose.

The Joint Director of Punjab Agriculture Hydrology-Geology Wing, Rajesh Vashist, agreed that river water can be used for recharging of water table and supplying water to urban areas, but added that for this proper studies for filtration are needed.

Currently, about half a dozen major cities of Punjab require nearly 3000 MLD (Million Litre a Day) water daily, including nearly 400 MLD in Jalandhar.

In Jalandhar, for instance, the Municipal Corporation (JMC) had considered a plan two years back for bringing Beas river water to the city, which is under dark zone, through pipelines. The project would have cost Rs 2000 crore.

“Around 250 cusecs water will quench the thirst of entire Jalandhar city,” said Superintendent Engineer, Water Supply, Punjab, adding that no extracting of ground water for few years would have automatically recharged the ground water table here.

In Punjab, out of 141 agricultural blocks, 109 blocks have already fallen under the dark Zone. A senior officer in the Canal and Irrigation Department, Punjab, said that regular release of water in canals can recharge the water table, but due to improper maintenance of canals, water is released only for some months in several canals across the state.

About the past one month, an official at the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) said that nearly 10,000 to 15,000 cusecs water went to Pakistan flowing downstream as there was less demand from Rajasthan due to some repair work in canal.

PEP leader Sukhpal Khaira had Wednesday alleged that around 15,000 to 20,000 cusecs water was released from Punjab’s dams to Pakistan daily, while the canals of Punjab remained dry in Malwa and Doaba regions.

CM Amarinder Singh denied that allegation saying that only 8700 cusecs of water on daily basis had been released downstream of Ferozepur headworks to Pakistan for the past 24 days.

As a controversy rages over water flowing to Pakistan, the current year storage of the three dam reservoirs in the state is 41% of the total capacity of these reservoirs, which is better than their average storage in past one decade, that stood at 25%.

The three main reasons behind excess water in these reservoirs included incessant rain in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh from September 23 to September 25 last year when there was no demand for irrigation. Secondly, the wettest summer months in Punjab this year which witnessed 109% rain above normal.

Lastly, heavy snowfall in the high ranges and the catchment area of the three rivers due to which heavy snow melting took place in summers.

Jagmohan Singh Mann, chief engineer canal, state water resources department, told The Indian Express that on Friday (June 14), Bhakra dam’s water level was at 1,609 feet against its total capacity of 1,680 feet.

With monsoon season not far away, they have to release the water in rivers and canals during summer months to accommodate rain water, which comes in heavy flow, in dams.

He agreed that some of this water is flowing to Pakistan and other Indian states like Rajasthan so as to avoid a flood-like situation in Punjab during monsoon. He also said that huge amounts of water in dams during summers is quite unusual and the government is planning to supply canal water to the urban area users by involving the state local bodies department.

Director Water Regulation BBMB Satish Kumar Singla said that they release water as per the demand of the irrigation departments of several states including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. – Row Over Missing Saroops: Anyone found guilty won’t be spared, says Longowal

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 15 June 2019. Amid serious allegations of selling saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji being leveled on SGPC, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal went to the Sikh Reference Library to understand its working on June 14. He also took a glimpse of the historic handwritten saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji placed inside the Sikh Reference Library.

Reiterating his commitment of thorough probe into this issue, Longowal said that the probe committee would be constituted soon in which prominent rational Sikh personalities will be appointed.

Commenting on the charges of selling the historic saroops returned by the Indian army, Longowal said that anyone found guilty in this concern won’t be spared at any cost, but if the charges proved wrong then the SGPC will also sue the concerned media section in Court.

“However, we have confirmed that a large portion of the treasure of Sikh Reference Library has not been returned by the Indian army till date,” he added.

Longowal clarified that the literature wealth of the Sikh Reference Library is a safe deposit of Sikh community with SGPC and the SGPC is liable for returning it to the Sikh community in an intact position.

SGPC’s Chief Secretary Dr. Roop Singh, Secretary Mohinder Singh Aahli, Secretary Manjit Singh Bath, Secretary Balwinder Singh Jaura Singha, Personal Secretary Er. Sukhminder Singh, Dr. Amarjit Kaur (Incharge of Sikh History Research Board), Bagicha Singh (Librarian, Sikh Reference Library), P.A. Darshan Singh etc. were also present on this occasion.

Row Over Missing Saroops: Anyone found guilty won’t be spared, says Longowal

Gent: Veergrep – Gentbrugse Meersen – NT Gent Roodkapje

29 May 2019

Tram 1 – new northbound stop

Gentbrugse Meersen
30 May 2019

Why is this cow in the lake ?

These are taking rest

Good looking lady

Half on the path half going down to the lake

NT Gent Roodkapje
01 June 2019

I know that person on the top row left

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Sputnik News – 130 Stranded Sikh pilgrims await Modi government’s go-ahead to enter Pakistan

Despite the near war-like situation due to the February escalation, India and Pakistan did not interrupt the Kartarpur Corridor religious infrastructure project, slated to be operationalised this year. The joint people-to-people exchange effort facilitates Indian Sikh pilgrims’ visits to the final resting place of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev.

Atari/Wagah border, Panjab, 14 June 2019. Around 130 Pakistan-bound Sikh pilgrims, including women, children, and elderly, with valid visas are stuck at the Attari border, as the Indian government is yet to allow them to cross over to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru.

The people have been stranded there since the early hours of the day and have so far been unable to proceed.

Footage from the location showed that most of the pilgrims are elderly citizens who arrived at the station from different parts of the Indian state of Punjab.

The stranded pilgrims expressed their anger, saying bilateral issues should not be allowed to come in the way of religion.

Local authorities in Punjab said that a special train from Pakistan will have to take the pilgrims beyond the Wagah border into the country. The train requires a nod from India to enter its territory, but it has not been allowed to enter Attari, located on Indian side of the border.

“The moment we will get the permission, we will allow the train to enter Attari”, M.L. Rai, the Attari Railway Station master, told reporters as pilgrims raised slogan against the government for the delay.

The pilgrims said that Pakistan had issued them a visa on 4 June and that their passports were handed over to Pakistan on 12 June. The visa is valid from 12 to 23 June.

Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan for religious festivals every year under the framework of the India-Pakistan Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines 1974.

Earlier, this past April, Pakistan issued visas to 2,200 Indian Sikh pilgrims to allow them to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from 12 to 21 April at the peak of tensions in the wake of the Balakot air strike.

The two countries have also been working on the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor. The corridor is expected to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to worship at the Gurdwara (Sikh worship place) in Kartarpur Sahib ahead of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, which will be celebrated in November this year.

The Hindu – Ram temple will be built under leadership of PM Modi, CM Yogi: Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya on June 16 to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple

Ayodhya – Uttar Pradesh – India, 15 June 2019. Ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya, on June 16, to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, his party leader Sanjay Raut said the Ram temple will be constructed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

He said Mr.Thackeray, who will be joined by 18 newly elected party MPs, is fulfilling the promise he had made in November that he would visit again after elections and asserted that his party has “not sought votes in the name of Ram and will not do so in future”.

Maharashtra will be going to polls later this year. The visit is being seen as an attempt by the Shive Sena to put pressure on ally BJP. But Sena has maintained that Mr.Thackeray’s visit should not be seen through the electoral lens.

“Ramlala is not a subject for politics but it is matter of our faith. We have not sought votes in the name of Ram and will not do so in future. When he [Uddhav] visited Ayodhya in November he promised to come again after elections. He is fulfilling his promise,” Mr. Raut said at a press conference.

On construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Mr.Raut said, “It will be constructed in Modi and Yogi’s leadership. The BJP will decide on it. The majority in 2019 is for construction of Ram temple. In Rajya Sabha too we will get majority by 2020.”

Mr.Thackeray, who will be reaching Ayodhya on Sunday morning, will offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple, address a press conference and leave later in the evening.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Ayodhya on last Friday to offer prayers at the makeshift Ram Lalla temple.

His visit, the first after the Lok Sabha election results, was apparently aimed at reiterating support for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.

“It is everybody’s wish that Ram Mandir must be constructed,” he had said after unveiling a seven-foot Ram statue at a museum in the city.

He also took part in the week-long celebrations to mark the birthday of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.

The title suit over the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site is being heard by the Supreme Court.

Soon after the BJP got a second term in the Lok Sabha elections, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat had said, “Ram’s work has to be done and Ram’s work will get done.”