Punjab won’t construct SYL canal

Chandigarh (Punjab), Mar.18 (ANI): The Punjab Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution on the disputed issue of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, stating that it would not be allowed to be constructed at any cost.

“The House has passed a resolution this morning in which all the political parties of the state have unanimously resolved that circumstances being what they are, the SYL Canal cannot be built. They cannot allow it to be built in defiance of the rights of the state over its river waters,” Harcharan Singh Bains, Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, told ANI.

“The case before the Supreme Court (challenging government of India’s power to distribute water between the states) must be decided before SYL canal can even be talked about,” he added.

In a setback to Punjab, the apex court had yesterday directed maintenance of status quo on land meant for canal after Haryana alleged that attempts have been made to alter its use by levelling it.

The apex court in its interim order also appointed Union Home Secretary and Punjab’s Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police (DGP) as the ‘joint receiver’ of land and other property meant for the canal till the next date of hearing on March 31, 2016.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had yesterday said that the state has no water to share, adding that the water crisis has occurred because the Riparian Act was not followed in the case of Punjab.

Badal’s comment came a day after the Government of Haryana returned a cheque for Rs.191.75 crores to the Punjab Government following its refusal to accept poll-bound Punjab’s push to pass a bill to return the land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal.

In an attempt to prevent its neighbouring states from getting share from Punjab’s river waters, the state assembly unanimously passed a bill against the construction of SYL canal, providing transfer of proprietary rights back to the land owners free of cost. (ANI)

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