Punjab not ready to find solution to SYL canal: Haryana CM

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Punjab not ready to find solution to SYL canal: Haryana CM

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said no consensus was reached at a meeting called by Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on the issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with his Punjab counterpart here.
 

New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said no consensus was reached at a meeting called by Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on the issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with his Punjab counterpart here.

He said in a statement that the Supreme Court in its decision had announced that the SYL should be constructed but Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his administrative wing are not ready to find any solution to this issue.

“Instead of discussing this pivotal issue, the Punjab Chief Minister and his administrative wing are repeatedly saying that there is no water in the state. Rather, they are asking to discuss sharing of water whereas a separate tribunal has been set up for discussing issues related to water sharing. Distribution of water will be done according to the recommendation of the tribunal,” said Khattar.

The Chief Minister said the Punjab government is not even accepting the Supreme Court’s decision wherein the Act brought by the Punjab government in year 2004 has been repealed.

“The Punjab Chief Minister says that the 2004 Act still exists which is completely unconstitutional,” added Khattar.

The Chief Minister said the SYL canal should be built and the Haryana government would apprise the Supreme Court about Punjab’s reluctant attitude over this issue.

“We will accept the decision of the Supreme Court in this regard,” said the Chief Minister.

He clarified that the SYL is the right of Haryana residents and he is hopeful that the state will get this right. He said the SYL water is very important for Haryana.

“Now, it is necessary to fix a timeline in this matter so that the availability of water to the farmers of the state can be ensured.”

The Chief Minister said it is a well-known fact that despite two Supreme Court judgments, Punjab has not completed the construction of the SYL.

Instead of implementing the decisions of the Supreme Court, Punjab tried to obstruct their implementation by enacting the Cancellation of Agreements Act in 2004. Under the provision of Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966, according to the order of the government of India dated March 24, 1976, 3.5 MAF of water was allocated to Haryana out of the surplus water of the Ravi-Beas.

Due to non-completion of the SYL canal, Haryana is using only 1.62 MAF of water. Punjab is illegally using about 1.9 MAF of water from Haryana’s share by not completing the SYL canal in its region, he added.

“Due to this attitude of Punjab, Haryana is not able to take its 1.88 MAF share of water. Punjab and Rajasthan are using about 2,600 cusecs of water from Haryana every year. If this water had reached Haryana, it would have been used to irrigate 10.08 lakh acres of land, quench the state’s thirst, and help thousands of farmers,” added Khattar.

He said due to non-availability of this water, the groundwater level in south Haryana is also going down considerably. Due to non-construction of the SYL, farmers of Haryana irrigate by using expensive diesel and running tubewells with electricity, which incurs an additional burden of Rs 100 to Rs 150 crore every year.

Due to non-formation of the SYL in Punjab region, the irrigation potential created to irrigate 10 lakh acres in Haryana is lying idle, he added.

 


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