Cutting across party lines, the Vidhan Sabha unanimously passed a resolution to form a committee of MLAs to examine and suggest means of improving the depleting groundwater.

A consensus was arrived at following a discussion by members of the treasury and Opposition benches on issues related to depleting groundwater.

Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said since the state government was short of funds, there was a need for the Centre to constitute a fund for agriculture research with an aim to save water. He stressed the need for crop diversification and getting out of the wheat-rice cycle.

SAD MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra objected to Badal’s suggestion to hand over agriculture research to the Centre, saying this would further compromise the powers of states, even as he asked the state government to take concrete steps to tackle the problem. He said there was a need to put up a strong case for allocation of more central funds for agriculture research, instead of abrogating the responsibility. The only way out was to augment the canal irrigation system in the state, he said.

Rural Development Minister Tript Bajwa informed the House that the resolution adopted by the House would be implemented in letter and spirit by the government.

Source: 04 March, 2021, The Tribune