(DSU News Bureau)PM Modi gave farmers a lesson about farming and the advantages of drip irrigation over flood irrigation. Modi did this for a reason, he wants Punjab farmers to use less water so that other parts of the country can take Punjab’s water supply and use it for their benefit. It seems clear Modi will now persuade farmers and the Govt of Punjab to reroute waters further with no added benefit to Punjab.
Modi came to the point of his speech when he stated that he will connect rivers of Punjab and develop canals so that other states can benefit. The depleting water table is a major concern but rerouting Punjab’s rivers and new canals could quite possible further worsen Punjab’s water issues.
The flood irrigation was a viable method when both sides of Punjab were one and the system is practised only in India and Pakistan. However, more environmental friendly ways should be adopted but without the loss of rivers.
The Akali Dal has been concentrating on the injustice done to the state of apportionment of the river waters. The rivers flowing into Rajasthan and Haryana can’t be stopped and so Punjab makes all available resources to it’s farmers and especially due to the declining water table.
Modi ignored issues previously raised by the AKali Dal and maintained nothing would be denied to Punjab. Modi refused to mention issue of opening a trade route from Hussainwiwala to Pakistan. Currently, Attari-Wagha border is being used and the Hussainiwala route has been closed since 1971, the route would greatly impact Punjab’s economy in the area. Currently, this area is considered backward with no industrial or trade revenue.
The issue of the land acquisition bill will effect Punjab farmers tremendously and the ruling party Akali Dal opposed the bill in public but supported the amendments in Lok Sabha. The land acquisition bill would give the right to the government to take over land belonging to the farmers.
The issue of cooperative federalism that Badal thanked Modi has actually worked against Punjab due to the devolution of revenue to the state.
The visit of Modi to Punjab seemed only political in nature and provided zero economic benefits to the state.