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Punjab to de-acquire SYL canal’s land to return it to farmers

March 13, 2016 | By

Chandigarh: Expressing firmness on Punjab Government’s stance against construction of controversial Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the Punjab government on Thursday (March 10) said it will bring in a legislation to de-acquire the land acquired from farmers and give it back to them to ensure the state does not have to share more water with other states.

The state government and leading political parties made it clear that Punjab will block any move by the central government to force the state to share more water with other states, especially Haryana.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said a Bill would be introduced in the current budget session of the state assembly for de-acquisition of land acquired for the canal and handing it back to farmers after nearly four decades.

SYL Canal | File Photo

SYL Canal | File Photo

“We will not allow a drop of water to flow out of Punjab. I will protect state’s natural resources and uphold its riparian right till the last drop of water is left in my body,” Badal told the assembly.

Badal moved a resolution in the assembly on Thursday which said that “Punjab will not accept any unjust decision on SYL and river waters”.

Stating that “Punjab has not a single drop of water to spare”, the resolution said that “violation of Riparian principle is unconstitutional and therefore unacceptable”.

The resolution said that Punjab had always been discriminated against by the central government on various issues, especially water sharing.

Describing the situation as “extremely grave and dangerous”, Badal made it clear that “Punjab is not to tolerate nor allow any unjust decision on SYL and river waters to be forcibly imposed on Punjab”.

All Congress legislators present in the assembly were earlier suspended from the assembly for one day as they wanted more points in the resolution moved by the chief minister and protested in the well of the house.

The Supreme Court had accepted a petition filed by the Haryana government for early hearing on the issue of the SYL canal, on which a presidential reference was pending.

The SYL Canal, which was planned and major portions of it were even completed in the 1990s at a cost of over Rs.750 crore at that time, is entangled in a political and legal quagmire with Haryana and the Central government of India unwilling to give up their stand on the controversial canal issue and taking out Punjab’s river waters to Haryana.

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