PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar on Tuesday said Punjab would not share its waters with neighbouring Haryana. He said Punjab’s first responsibility was towards its own people, particularly its farmers, and it was unfortunately not in a position to share its limited water resource with other states.
Reacting to Haryana BJP president O P Dhankar’s statement on the Supreme Court’s latest directions in the SYL case, Jakhar in a statement said political will could not supersede the interest of Punjab’s people. The Congress government led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had never shirked its humanitarian responsibility but the acute water crisis faced by the state prevented it from sharing its water resources with any other state, he added.
On Dhankar’s remarks that Punjab owed it to Haryana’s farmers to give them their due, the Punjab Congress president said as per the riparian principle, it was Punjab and its farmers who had the first right on the waters of the rivers flowing through the state. Any violation of the riparian principle would not only be against the law but also unjust to Punjab’s people, he added.
Pointing out that the CM had been repeatedly asking for a fresh assessment of Punjab’s water availability in Beas and Ravi rivers, Jakhar said such a reassessment would make the ground situation clear and would endorse Punjab’s stand on the SYL issue. While the Punjab government had no objection to a negotiated settlement on the issue, as directed by the apex court, any discussion would have to take into account the situation on the ground, he added.
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