July 23, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ Punjab (July 23, 2013): After the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s statement that Haryana shall fight till last drop of river water ‘share’, Punjab’s ruling party the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) on July 22, 2013 reiterated that ‘there can be no compromise on the Riparian principle on the river waters of the state’.
According to a news reported by YesPunjab.Com: “[t]he party dismissed the statement of the Haryana Chief Minister Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda on the issue as of no consequence and just playing the gallery ahead of elections in that state and the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll”.
Harcharan Bains, Punjab CM’s Advisor on National Affairs who also looks after the media affairs for the Government and the party, reportedly said: “[The] Chief Minister and SAD patron-in-Chief Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, the Punjab government and the party have always maintained that issue of river waters be resolved as per the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle”.
“This principle has never been violated while settling river disputes in the country, such as those on the waters of Narmada, Cauvery etc. There is no valid, logical or constitutional reason why this should be flouted only in the case of rivers flowing through Punjab. The state has already paid a heavy price for the excesses committed in this regard by successive Congress governments at the centre, Delhi and Punjab on river water disputes”, he said.
According to YesPunjab.Com: “Mr. Bains warned that any mischief on the part of the neighbouring state could result in grave consequences on the issue”.
It may be recalled that Haryana is a non-Riparian state to the rivers of Punjab. Punjab has always opposed the Government of India’s extra-legal and extra-constitutional arrangements for robbing Punjab of its legitimate and just right over the river waters flowing through the state.
But, it is notable that, in 2004 Punjab’s then ruling Congress and the then in opposition – Badal-BJP alliance, passed a law named “Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004” (PTAA, 2004); where by all so-called agreements of river water sharing with non-riparian states (that were already not valid as per law) were terminated. But these parties did a blunder by inserting section 5 in the 2004 Act which states that the water that has already been allocated to non-riparian states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi would continue to flow. This was Congress and Badal-BJP ‘unanimously’ legalized the allocation of river water to the non-riparian states.
It is further notable that in 2007 and 2012 general elections SAD (Badal) had promised in their election manifesto that it shall strike down section 5 of the PTAA, 2004; but on attaining the political power it took no step in this regard.
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