February 23, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: Sticking to its earlier stand to not to take into consideration some basic issued related to allocation of Punjab’s river water to non-riparian states, the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday (Feb. 22) passed a comment that (controversial) Satluj-Yamina Link (SYL) canal has to be built.
A Bench headed by Justice PC Ghose said: “We are at a stage where the decree has to be executed.”
“The Bench said the canal had to be constructed first. Whether the water was there or not or it’ll be there only in the rainy season or how much quantity was being maintained could be sorted out later”, notes a report in The Tribune (TT).
It also asked the Centre to maintain surveillance and oversight in view of the impending march by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) activists that could potentially create a law and order problem. The court’s comments came after senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and RS Suri requested on behalf of the Punjab Government that a political solution be attempted and the Centre should act as an arbitrator.
Responding to Jethmalani’s suggestion, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said: “I (Centre) can’t sit in judgment over the decree… If both states approach us, only then we can mediate…”
Jethmalani said the water-sharing agreement was signed in 1981 and the quantity of water flow had significantly decreased since then. Therefore, it wasn’t possible now to execute it. But the court ruled out the argument and said the Canal has to be built as the SCI had earlier passed a judgement in this regard.
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