No spare water, says Mann; construct canal, insists Khattar

No spare water, says Mann; construct canal, insists Khattar

Tribune Information Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, January 4

The decades-old challenge concerning building of the Sutlej-Yamuna Hyperlink (SYL) canal for river water-sharing between Punjab and Haryana was nowhere close to decision on Wednesday with a vital assembly of the chief ministers of the 2 states referred to as by the Centre to evolve a consensus remaining inconclusive.

On the assembly convened by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, as per the instructions of the Supreme Court docket to resolve the matter by mediation, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stated the state “couldn’t share what it didn’t have”. “How can we conform to construct the SYL canal after we wouldn’t have even a drop of water to spare? We’ve got requested for the nomenclature of SYL to be modified to YSL to avoid wasting the Sutlej, which has been diminished to a mere nullah. If the Yamuna can go to Shahdara (Delhi), why can’t it go to Rohtak? The one resolution is that the YSL canal waters from the Ganga and Yamuna be provided to Punjab by the Sutlej,” Mann stated, arguing that over 78 per cent of the state’s 150 blocks have been in the dead of night zone with even the groundwater drying up.

SYL meet inconclusive

How can we conform to construct the SYL canal after we don’t have a drop of water to spare? —Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Chief minister

Punjab will not be cooperating and the CM (Mann) has refused to simply accept SC order. —ML Khattar, Haryana CM

Mann stated whereas Punjab was advising farmers to undertake much less water-guzzling crops like paddy, “water-surplus Haryana was encouraging farmers to develop extra paddy throughout districts”.

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar stated “Punjab was not cooperating”. “The Punjab CM has refused to simply accept the SC determination by saying at present that the Punjab Termination of Settlement Act, whereby it had unilaterally terminated the 1981 settlement with regard to river water sharing with Haryana, nonetheless stands. The SC had declared that Act null and void. We are going to inform the SC and it ought to take a choice. It is going to be acceptable to all,” Khattar stated.

The Haryana CM stated the query at present was not of water distribution and sharing since a separate tribunal had been fashioned for that objective. “The problem is the development of the SYL canal. The whole water distribution construction based mostly on the pre-Partition ratio is already accounted for. As soon as the SYL canal is constructed, water can be shared between the states on a professional rata foundation,” he stated, citing the federal government’s March 24, 1976, order whereby 3.5 MAF (million acre ft) of water was allotted to Haryana out of the excess water of the Ravi and the Beas.

“Because of non-completion of the SYL canal, Haryana is getting just one.62 MAF of water. Punjab is illegally utilizing about 1.9 MAF of water from Haryana’s share by not finishing the canal in its area,” Khattar stated. The Punjab CM, nevertheless, argued that the pre-Partition phrases didn’t maintain good at present. “When the SYL canal settlement got here into being, Punjab was getting 18.56 MAF of water, which was now all the way down to 12.63 MAF. So now we have no water. Haryana is getting 14.10 MAF of water from the Sutlej, Yamuna and different rivulets whereas Punjab is getting solely 12.63 MAF,” Mann stated. Jal Shakti Minister Shekhawat instructed The Tribune that the ministry had finished its half by making an attempt to evolve an amicable resolution. “However the assembly stays inconclusive. We are going to inform the Supreme Court docket accordingly on the subsequent listening to,” Shekhawat stated.

The SC has listed the problem for January 19. It had final September given the Centre 4 months to get Punjab and Haryana to reach at a mediated settlement. Shekhawat convened two conferences (one in October and the opposite at present), however each remained inconclusive.

Perennial dispute

The water dispute began in 1966 when Punjab and Haryana got here into being after the Punjab Reorganisation Act.

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