'Consider Public Interest Over Politics': SC Pulls Up Punjab, Haryana Govts Over Failure To Prevent Flooding In Ghaggar River
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Punjab and Haryana Governments over their failure to prevent flooding in the Ghaggar river.
Expressing regret, the Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice MM Sundresh noted that after the last orders passed by the Court, except for two meetings of the Ghaggar Standing Committee, no further concrete steps are taken either by the State of Punjab and/or State of Haryana on the recommendations made by the CWPRS, Pune.
The Court also noted that though Status Reports are filed on behalf of the State of Punjab and the State of Haryana, however, no further concrete steps are taken except holding the meetings.
The Court thus observed, "The common man is not interested in meetings but is interested in finding out the solution. Every State Government should consider the public interest first above the politics."
Further, the Court added that though the major portion of the affected area is the State of Punjab, however, the State has not taken the matter very seriously.
The Court directed the Chief Secretaries of the State to take up the issue very seriously and sincerely so that the people of 25 villages who are affected due to the flood every year do not suffer any further.
Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan appearing for the State of Haryana and Senior Advocate Ajit Kumar Sinha appearing for the State of Punjab urged before the Court to grant four weeks' time to prepare and submit the Detailed Project Report (DRP) on the implementation of the CWPRS, Pune recommendations and the earlier orders passed by the Court.
The Court held, "The Detailed Project Reports shall be absolutely in tune with the recommendations/Report of the CWPRS, Pune and no State shall deviate from the same."
The Court thus directed the States to prepare and submit the proposed DPRs in accordance with the recommendations of CWPRS Pune.
The Court listed the matter for January 3, 2023.
The Court has dispensed the presence of Chief Secretaries for the next hearing.
Earlier the Court on August 17, 2022, had directed the States of Punjab and Haryana to act and take corrective measures recommended by the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune.
The background of this case pertains back to 2019 when the Chairman of the Central Water Commission was directed to conduct a meeting to find a solution to the problem of flood experienced by agriculturists from 25 villages due to the overflowing of river Ghaggar.
Cause Title - Nagar Panchayat Moonak and Ors. v. The State of Punjab And Ors.