April 7, 2016 | By Parmjeet Singh
Amritsar: Taking strong view of Rajasthan, J&K and Delhi siding with Haryana over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal water-sharing issue in the Supreme Court, the Dal Khalsa said Punjab should stop the unjust and illegal flow of its river waters going to these neighboring states bypassing riparian principles and violating the Indian Constitution.
Party head H S Dhami and spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said states using Punjab’s only natural resources free of cost have ganged up to ensure the continuation of loot of waters. Hence, people of Punjab irrespective of their political ideologies and shades, should join hands to press upon the Akali government to take some practical and hard steps to protect its waters from further loot.
Referring to CM Parkash Singh Badal’s war cry that people should get ready for sacrifices, they pointed that “gone were the times, when rhetoric or verbal threats could work. It’s time to translate words into action”, said they.
Accusing the Centre for its double speak, they said from day one New Delhi has ditched Punjab. They forewarned the Badal that in case Centre fails or does any dilly-dallying to take pro-Punjab stand firmly in the apex court on the next date of hearing i.e April 8 then the SAD should be ready to snap ties with the BJP.
On part of the Badal government, they suggested, it should convene assembly session and abrogate clause 5 of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004 that legitimates the continuity of flow of waters to non-riparian states.
Reiterating that the people of Punjab would not allow the construction of the SYL canal at any cost, they said we were more worried and concerned about major chunk of our river waters that was flowing to non-riparian states. Presently, as per data available, Haryana is getting 7.8 MAF, Delhi 0.2 MAF, J&K 0.7 MAF and Rajasthan 10.5 MAF from Punjab.
They were of the opinion that Rivers being as a state subject, the Punjab should scrap clause 5 and ask for royalty in lieu of the waters being used by these neighboring states in case it had to give its water to non-riparian states as goodwill gesture.
Like minerals, river water is an asset of Punjab and any use of it by other states should be accounted for in terms of money,” they said. “Water is natural resource for Punjab, like Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand has coal mines, Rajasthan has marble and several other states have iron ores. They are all charging royalty for mining,” he said.
“If these states can take royalty, why was Punjab being denied its right to royalty for water?” he said. They said Rajasthan used to pay royalty to Punjab before 1947.
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