Rajasthan to Get its Share of Yamuna Water | 04 Mar 2024

Why in News?

Recently, Rajasthan Chief Minister asserted that the state will get its share of Yamuna water as per the allocations specified in the 1994 agreement with Haryana.

Key Points

  • Haryana and Rajasthan recently signed an agreement to jointly prepare a detailed project report for the transfer of Rajasthan's share of Yamuna water from Hathnikund in Haryana through underground pipelines and its subsequent utilisation in areas such as Jhunjhunu and Churu.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed after a meeting between Haryana and Rajasthan CM on 17 February 2024.
    • The issue of water sharing has been a point of contention for over two decades since the signing of the MOU on May 12, 1994, allocating water shares among co-basin states.

Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal

  • The Issue stems from a controversial 1981 water-sharing agreement drawn up when Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966.
  • Punjab:
    • Punjab vehemently opposes sharing any additional water with neighboring states. They stress that Punjab lacks surplus water and highlights the reduction in their water allocation over the years.
    • Many areas in Punjab may go dry after 2029 and the state has already over-exploited its groundwater for irrigation purposes as it fills granaries of the Centre by growing wheat and paddy worth Rs 70,000 crore every year.
    • Water in about 79% of the state’s area is over-exploited and in such a situation, the government says sharing water with any other state is impossible.
  • Haryana:
    • Haryana strongly advocates for the canal's completion, citing a looming water crisis and asserting that Punjab has been utilizing Haryana's share of water.
    • It says that providing irrigation is tough for the state and there was a problem of drinking water in southern parts of Haryana, where groundwater has depleted up to 1,700 feet.
    • Haryana has been citing its contribution to the central food pool and arguing that it is being denied its rightful share in the water as assessed by a tribunal.

Yamuna River

  • The Yamuna River is one of the major tributaries of the Ganges in Northern India.
    • It forms an integral part of the Yamuna-Ganga Plain, one of the world's most extensive alluvial plains.
  • Source: It has its source in the Yamunotri Glacier at an elevation of 6,387 meters on the southwestern sides of Banderpooch crests in the lower Himalayan ranges.
  • Basin: It meets the Ganges at the Sangam (where Kumbh mela is held) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
  • Important Dam: Lakhwar-Vyasi Dam (Uttarakhand), Tajewala Barrage Dam (Haryana) etc.
  • Important Tributaries: Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken.
  • Government Initiatives Related to Yamuna River:
    • Yamuna Action Plan
    • Delhi Government’s Six-Point Action Plan to Clean Yamuna by February 2025.