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SYL canal dispute: Amarinder makes it clear — will sacrifice life, not water; Khattar says no one can stop our share

Punjab has been demanding reassessment of the water volume of the Ravi-Beas river, while Haryana seeks completion of the SYL canal to get its share of the river water.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
February 27, 2020 9:18:05 pm

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In an apparent reference to the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute with Haryana, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Wednesday told the state Assembly that he is ready to give up his life rather than giving the state’s water to other states. In no time, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar responded to this remark by reiterating that no one can restrict Haryana from getting its share of water through SYL canal as the Supreme Court has already given its decision in favour of his state.

EXPLAINED | Canal to nowhere — Why the SYL is a stalemate with no winners

Punjab has been demanding reassessment of the water volume of the Ravi-Beas river, while Haryana seeks completion of the SYL canal to get its share of the river water. The Supreme Court in September last year had asked Centre, Punjab and Haryana to find an amicable solution to the SYL canal issue in four months.

We do not have water to share: Capt

Winding up the discussion on the Governor’s address in the ongoing Budget Session of the Punjab Assemby, Amarinder said that his state does not have a drop of surplus water and, in line with internationally accepted riparian principles, it will not allow transfer of water from basin to non-basin areas.

“We have said that we do not have water,” Amarinder said in the House.

Expressing concern over the depleting groundwater table, Punjab CM pointed out that the level of rivers in the state had reduced from 17 million acre feet (MAF) to less than 13 MAF. “Even if we have to sacrifice our lives, we will not give water to other states,” he asserted.

He said his government has made every possible effort to achieve this and will continue to work for protecting the water rights of Punjab to ensure the livelihood of Punjab farmers and landless farm labourers.

‘None can stop Haryana from getting its share’

Asked to comment on a statement given by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on SYL issue, Khattar said: “I don’t know who will sacrifice his life, but no one can stop SYL water to Haryana. It is not in Punjab hand’s to decide Haryana’s share of water.”

He told mediapersons that the only issue pending before the apex court was regarding the construction of SYL canal for getting water to Haryana. \”No one can restrict Haryana from getting its share of water through the SYL as the Supreme Court has already given its decision in favour of Haryana that the state has its legitimate share in the canal water,” Khattar said.

He said an all-party delegation led by him had also met then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and requested him for early completion of the canal.

“Whether any central agency will construct the SYL canal or some other mechanism would be devised to carry water to Haryana from Punjab will be decided by the Supreme Court,” said Khattar.

Speaking on the issue, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda said that they would take each drop of their share from the canal water. “We are with the Haryana government on this issue,” he said.

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