Residents close to Sutlej-Yamuna canal say: Will help us get water, don’t scrap it

True it will aid some, but many regions will go dry if allowed, says Maluka

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Fatehgarh Sahib | Published: June 21, 2016 5:28 am
Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, Punjab governement, Supreme Court ruling, farmers, SYL canal, India News Availability of water, it the main reason why some farmers, adjoining the canal, refused to side with the Punjab government.

Even as the Punjab government hopes that the Supreme Court scraps the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, farmers of the state are divided over the issue.

Punjab had earlier de-notified the construction of the SYL canal. It even promised to return the land to the original owners. That was when its neighbours took the government to the Supreme Court which ordered it to maintain status quo.

Availability of water, it the main reason why some farmers, adjoining the canal, refused to side with the Punjab government. “At some places, the earth has to be dug to up to 500 feet to get water. The cost for this is as high as Rs 5 lakh,” said Ajmer Singh, a resident of Mehdoodan village adjacent to proposed canal portion near Chunni village in Fatehgarh Sahib district. “Not one farmer from our village went when the canal was being filled.”

Share This Article
Share
Related Article

While many panchayats across several districts passed resolutions against the construction of the canal, Chunni village did not. “Our Panchayat has not passed any resolution. If the canal becomes functional, we hope we get water for irrigation,” said panchayat member Jagmohan Singh. He added that water from the canal will help increase the groundwater level too.

Others, on the other hand, are more concerned over the size of the project.

“This is such a big project. How can it be shelved?,” asked Lambar, a resident of Mehdoodan village. “People say the cost of the project itself is several thousands of crores. Moreover, Haryana is also part of the nation. We exchange with each other.”

Similar are the reasons expressed by residents of nearby village Bassian Baidwan.

“We cannot afford to cross swords with politicians. But, if the canal becomes functional, the water problem in the area could be addressed to large extent and it will be good for farmers,” said Mohan Singh, a resident.

Rural Development and Panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka, however, said that “a number of districts would stand to lose water if the canal becomes operational”.

“I agree that the water table in adjoining areas of the canal will be slightly improved if it is functional, but on the other hand several districts would go dry. So, we are opposing it. Today, Panchayats in districts like Ropar and Nawanshahr submitted memorandums to deputy commissioners to oppose it [the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal project]. We have nothing against Haryana. If as per riparian principles, it deserves water, we have no problem with that. But, as per accepted laws, Haryana does not deserve [water],” the minister said.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. Ramesh Chugh
    Jun 21, 2016 at 5:34 am
    This subject should be in the exclusive domain of the central govt only. Let us amend the Consution early.
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. A
      APUPADHYAY
      Jun 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm
      Link canals are not for irrigation.
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. S
        slums
        Jun 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm
        Only in India thousands of crores are spent on projects which are held up due to agitations or trivial protests. So while the chinese build earth shattering wonders such as the 3 gorges dam and edge towards the 22nd century, the Indians edge towards some of the poorest African nations. This is the ground truth reality and is the result of literally 3rd grade people occupying important posts in the goverment and justice system.
        (0)(0)
        Reply