In a crackdown against canal water thefts, the Punjab Water Resources Department has reported 191 such thefts in the current paddy season.The Water Resources Minister Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said monitoring of the canals would continue to stop any water thefts and warned that anyone found guilty would not be spared. He directed the officials of his department to take stern action against the water thieves and added that any dereliction of duty would not be tolerated.Mr. Sarkaria assured the farmers of sufficient Canal water supply for paddy and other Kharif crops. He said the state government was fully committed to ensuring the welfare of the farmers. He mentioned that the Punjab Government had already launched debt waiver scheme for farmers.
He appealed to the farmers to decrease the dependency on ground water and cultivate such crop varieties that need less water and mature early.Giving details about the water thefts an official spokesperson said that 118 cases of water theft had been registered in Ferozepur Canal Circle, Ferozepur. The breakup is as follows Eastern Canal Division (26 case), Harike Canal Division (4) and Abohar Canal Division (88 case). Besides 45 cases of water thefts were reported in Sirhind Canal Circle, Ludhiana, which included Faridkot Canal Division (15 cases), Sidhwan Canal Division (19), Ropar Head works Division (03) and Bathinda Canal Division (08). Eleven cases of theft were reported in Mansa division of I.B. Circle, Patiala and 17 cases in Devigarh Division of BML Circle, Patiala.