As a state Haryana completes 50 years of existence. During these years, the state has achieved many things and many things are yet to be achieved. The current BJP government in the state has planned mega celebrations throughout the year to mark Haryana’s 50th birth anniversary. The government has a formed a multi-member committee to discuss and decide the different facets of celebrations. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said that the celebrations will herald the beginning of a new era in the history of Haryana. He is of the view that the Swarnajayanti Samaroh Committee will put in place a long-term blueprint for Haryana’s future developmental course.
Only recently Leader of Opposition and INLD heavyweight Abhay Singh Chautala said in a press conference in Chandigarh that the government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for the year-long celebrations. If so, then Haryana will certainly benefit a lot from these celebrations which are being planned by the government. It has been said that no state of Haryana’s size or even bigger and having completed 50 years of existence had planned such mega events.
Indeed a new landmark is going to be set by the current regime and one must not be miser in thanking Chief Minister Khattar for the kind of celebrations he has approved for the great milestone Haryana as a state has achieved.No one will be impressed if anybody says that the issue of roti, kapda aur makaan has any relevance in the state today. The state has moved quite forward. In terms of per capita income and other indicators to measure people’s well being, Haryana is also far ahead of other states.
However, the recent Jat quota stir brought forth serious chinks in the state’s social fabric. Similarly, the problem of arising out poor health and education infrastructure will continue to remain an area of concern for the policy makers and rulers. India does not have any state, which can claim to be an ideal example in offering quality healthcare and education facilities to the people. Despite being state responsibilities, people have to suffer a lot on account of poor health and education infrastructural facilities. It will be unfair to say that Haryana has not grown over the years, but has certainly not been able to become a reference to classical model of development. It had an opportunity to ensure that Gurgaon becomes an ideal city in every respect and Panchkula surpasses Chandigarh in terms of sanitation and other facilities.
However, the real challenge before Haryana lies in ensuring the availability of water to farmers. Though the state government has opened a front against the SAD-BJP government in Punjab over the distribution of river waters, the real solution lies elsewhere. Haryana Assembly has also passed a unanimous resolution condemning the passage of the Bill by Punjab Assembly de-notifying the land for SYL as ‘unilateral, unconstitutional and denying the authority of the Supreme Court, a step only to draw political mileage.’ The Hansi-Butana Canal, which was constructed to carry Haryana’s own share of Ravi-Beas waters from Bhakra command to western Jamuna canal and lift command has not been operationalised due to the stay order granted by the apex court. Haryana is a water deficit state and the availability of water is 61 per cent less than the total requirement. Out of 126 blocks of the state 71 blocks are overexploited in groundwater.
Since the formation of Haryana in 1966, despite Government of India orders in 1976, tripartite agreement among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in 1981, Rajiv Longowal Accord in 1995 and two historical decisions of Supreme Court of India in 2002 and 2004, Haryana has been deprived of more than half of its legitimate share of 3.50 MAF in surplus Ravi-Beas water. Punjab has made yet another attempt to circumvent and divert the outcome of the Presidential Reference under consideration of the Supreme Court of India and keep Haryana depriving its
legitimate share of water by passing the Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill to de-notify the land, lawfully acquired for construction of the SYL.
The row between Punjab and Haryana on the former’s decision to enact a law de-notifying the 5,300 acres of land acquired for Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal has reached the Supreme Court with both states tossing allegations and counter-allegations at each other. The government and the people of Haryana must make a vow to make the state a water surplus state by preserving rainwater. All policy interventions will become null and void if the availability of water resources continues to shrink.