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Punjab to challenge s. 78 of Reorganisation Act; Seek SC view on Riparian status of Rajasthan, Haryana

March 19, 2016 | By

Chandigarh: As per media reports the Punjab government is planning to request the Supreme Court of India to first decide on the ‘riparian status’ of Haryana and Rajasthan before it gives a verdict on the Presidential reference on the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004.

The Act was passed by the Punjab Assembly in order to make a 2004 SCI order commanding Punjab to complete the construction of Satluj Yamuna Link canal. The controversial canal is meant to take 35 LAF (.35 MAF) river water to the neighbouring and “non-riparian” state of Haryana.

SYL Canal | File Photo

SYL Canal | File Photo

As per The Tribune (TT), [P]unjab will seek a decision on a plea pending in the SC that had challenged distribution of river waters mandated under the Punjab Re-organisation Act 1966. Punjab had moved the petition under Article 131 of the Constitution, asking the SC to adjudicate if Haryana and Rajasthan are ‘riparian states’. Section 78 of the 1966 Act had allowed distribution of water to successor states (Haryana and Rajasthan).

Punjab will request the SC that the Presidential reference on the 2004 Act be decided only after its claims challenging the allocation of waters under the Re-organisation Act are addressed. Punjab is objecting to Sub-section 3 of Section 78 of the Re-organisation Act. This had allowed “rights to Haryana and Rajasthan to receive and utilise water available for distribution as a result of projects on the rivers in Punjab”, notes The Tribune.

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