Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today claimed that nobody will be allowed to construct the SYL canal as he “has put this contentious issue in wraps forever” by conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the project to its original owners after de-notification.
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“Nobody will be allowed to construct this canal in future…with conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to its original owners and their lineal descendants after its de-notification has put this contentious issue in wraps forever,” the five-time Chief Minister, who turned 89 today, said.
Addressing the ‘Paani Bachao, Punjab Bachao’ rally in this district here, the Chief Minister upped the ante on water issue, reiterating that Punjab neither has spare water to share with anyone, nor any need for the construction of SYL canal.
He said that with the historic initiative of the state government, conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the SYL canal to its original owners and their lineal descendants after its de-notification, “now this issue was dead for all times to come”.
“I firmly resolve that we don’t have spare water to share with anyone and what was within our jurisdiction, we did the best within the legal framework to safeguard the interests of the state,” Badal said.
He alleged that Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh “who was now trying to become a martyr by smearing blood on his little finger and showing lip sympathy with the people on the SYL issue, was the prime conspirator along with the then Congress high Command and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who performed the ground breaking ceremony of SYL at village Kapoori in Punjab way back in 1982”.
“On the contrary, the Akali Dal from day one vehemently opposed the construction of SYL by launching state wide morchas,” Badal claimed.
Describing the resignation by Amarinder Singh, the Amritsar MP from the Lok Sabha after the Supreme court held as unconstitutional the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states, “as a mere political stunt”, Badal said “the resignation drama was aimed at deriving political benefit from this sensitive issue rather than safeguarding the interests of the state”.