Chandigarh, July 11 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to give two months’ time over the settlement of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue.
He urged the central government to facilitate dialogue with Haryana for an early resolution of the issue.
Reiterating that the problem could be solved only through negotiations, Amarinder said that while Punjab did not want to deprive anyone of this essential commodity, the critical shortage of water in the state prevented it from sharing this vital resource.
“The state is taking all possible steps to conserve the depleting groundwater and has also set up a separate Department for Groundwater Management to assess the availability of water and adequate steps for its conservation,” Amarinder noted.
The Chief Minister said that water in Punjab rivers had declined over the years due to the melting glaciers in the higher reaches.
Amarinder also welcomed the apex court’s directive to stop all agitations on SYL, saying neither Punjab nor Haryana could afford to allow the situation spiral into violence over the issue.
Haryana’s main opposition party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), is seeking immediate construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal in Punjab to bring more water to Haryana.
The Supreme Court has already adjudged the SYL matter in Haryana’s favour but the INLD is seeking immediate implementation of the order through the canal’s construction.