DISMISSING THE Punjab government’s claims on the SYL issue, Haryana has made it clear there is no question of any dialogue on the issue since “the Supreme Court judgment has attained finality and Haryana’s execution petition is listed for hearing in July”. After the Northern Zonal Council meeting, the Punjab government had claimed “responding to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s call for marathon discussions to resolve the SYL issue, Punjab and Haryana Friday agreed to try and find a collective solution to the dispute through dialogue”.
Soon after the Punjab government’s official statement, Haryana rushed to describe the Amarinder Singh government’s claims as “misleading and incorrect”. Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Om Prakash Dhankar, who was present at the meeting, said the Haryana CM had made it clear, both in his printed speech as well as orally, that there was no question of any dialogue on the SYL issue at this stage. He clarified what all states had agreed to was the Union home minister’s suggestion to hold meetings at the level of officers and political executives on all other contentious issues of sharing of power and water. “In fact, just like the stand of the Haryana CM, the home minister said while all states must make serious attempts to resolve all issues through dialogue under the aegis of the zonal council, the failure thereof would leave the recourse to the courts as the only final option,” he said.
Dhankar claimed that when Haryana pointed out it was an issue of national concern that despite the Indus Water Treaty, more than 3 MAF water goes to Pakistan, the Punjab CM said that happened only during the monsoon. “Khattar said Haryana is more than willing to accept this water even during monsoon. Capt Amarinder reacted by saying if they were to do so, Haryana would be flooded. Khattar explained to him how thousands of villages of southern Haryana go thirsty even during monsoons and that the elaborate but usually dry canal network of Haryana can accept this water. While Capt Amarinder looked at his officers, the Haryana CM said that the construction of SYL canal was a must for this water to come to the parched fields of Haryana whether during monsoon or otherwise. At this stage, there was no reaction from Punjab,” mentioned the Haryana government press release.