Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court’s decision declaring as unconstitutional the Punjab government’s law to terminate a water-sharing agreement with other states by constructing the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on its territory. A five-judge Constitution Bench of the apex court opined that Punjab can not terminate the agreement unilaterally. CM Khattar said that the Supreme Court’s decision on this vital issue, that came after a gap of 12 years, was a result of the persistent efforts made by the present Haryana government. He also added that the ruling has brought smile on the face of every Haryanavi because now the State would get its legitimate share of surplus Ravi-Beas water, which is 3.5 Million Acre Feet (MAF).
Adding that the people of the State had been eagerly waiting for this decision since long, Khattar said that it kept lingering on because of laxity of the previous governments. This, he said, is a gift to the people of Haryana in the golden jubilee year of the State. The Supreme Court gave its decision in favour of Haryana on all the four points for which Presidential Reference was sought.
Khattar said these points included whether the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004 and the provision thereof are in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India; whether the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004 and the provisions thereof are in accordance with the provisions of section 14 of Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956, section 78 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act 1966 and the notification dated March 24,1976 issued there under; whether the State of Punjab has validly terminated the agreement dated December 31,1981 and all other agreements relating to the Ravi Beas waters and is discharged from its obligation under the said agreements; whether in view of the provisions of the Act, the State of Punjab is discharged from its obligations flowing from the judgement and decree dated January 1,2002 and judgement and order dated June 4,2004 of the Supreme Court of India.