January 23, 2020 11:14:43 am
In light of the Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre to find a solution to end the river water war between Punjab and Haryana, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will be holding an all-party meeting on the water Thursday.
The government has invited all political parties including SAD, BJP, AAP and Lok Insaf Party to take a decision on the issue. The decision will then be conveyed to the Centre.
Sources in the government said that the SC had asked the Government of India to intervene and find a solution to the issue, “We have no surplus water to share with anyone. The chief minister wants a consensus on the issue and tells the Centre that all political parties active in Punjab are on the same page as the agriculture state was fast turning into a desert and alarm bells were already ringing,” a government functionary told The Indian Express.
The functionary added, “Haryana has more water than us. Out of total river water available, Haryana was given 7.83 million acre-feet (MAF), Punjab was given 14.22 MAF and Rajasthan was given 11.14 MAF. Haryana gets water from the Yamuna also which we do not. Haryana’s per capita water is more than ours. Then why should we give more water?”
With the Akalis too having taken a stand in favour of Punjab and the AAP’s Punjab unit also being against sharing of water, it is likely that all political parties will support Amarinder’s stand Thursday.
The meeting is also going to discuss the Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority provided by The Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Bill 2020, passed recently by the Vidhan Sabha.
While the government is not bringing urban and rural consumers of water under the purview of the authority, it would be regulating water supply to 30 lakh commercial establishments in the state.
Earlier, drinking water supply to cities was also to be regulated, but under pressure from MLAs and ministers, the government had to buckle down. “If we regulate water supply to 3 million small and large establishments, does it not convey a message?” asked a functionary.
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