June 19, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patiala (June 18, 2010): While asserting that demand of royalty in lieu of water allocated to ‘non-riparian’ states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi is corollary of natural rights of people of Punjab, the Sikh Students Federation claimed that central issue is to claim inherent right over the use and control of river water.
SSF President Parmjeet Singh Gazi, in a statement, said that “River water is natural resource of Punjab and in case it is shared with other state, which do not possess any right, as such, to use it, Punjab is eligible to claim due consideration in form of royalty. He asked Badal-BJP alliance Government not to divert the point of focus from the core of the river water issue by laying emphasis solely on royalty in lieu of river water.
He informed that before the partition of 1947 Bikaner state used to pay royalty for using river water of Punjab. But the payment was withheld after 1947 at the behest of Union Government of India, he alleged. Before 1947 Punjab had plenty of water, but now the situation has changed. Usage of water in domestic, industrial and agricultural spheres has increased to large extent since last six decades and now Punjab is running short of water.
Accusing the Union Government of India for discriminating against Punjab, SSF has alleged that domestic and international norms regarding allocation of river water are violated in order to allocate Punjab’s river water to non-riparian states. The organization has accused Punjab assembly for legalizing the alleged illegal allocation of river water to Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi by inserting Section 5 in the text of ‘Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004’. “For giving birth to this new controversy major political leader, including Captain Amrinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, are equally responsible as they unanimously approved Section 5 of this Act.” says the statement.
“All agreements terminated by PTAA (2004) on 12 July, 2004 were already void and legally unenforceable.” claimed PS Gazi, while saying that “Congress, Badal Dal and BJP jointly approved previous allocations of water under section 5”.
He criticized Punjab CM’s statement, in answer to questions raised by some sections of media regarding section 5, that the issue to PTAA is under consideration with the Supreme Court of India and the Government taking legal advice in this matter. SSF raised a question that why Sr. Parkash Singh Badal did not take advise before promising the deletion of Section 5 in Badal Dal’s election manifesto, as the matter was already with Supreme Court?
While calling the masses to remain vigilant about this highly sensitive issue, SSF has asked the Government to amend PTAA (2004) to remove section 5 and assert Punjab’s inherent right to control and use its’ natural resource, river water, in order to save the state from apparent eco-disaster.
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Related Topics: Parmjeet Singh Gazi, Punjab Government, Punjab Water Crisis, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Sikh Students Federation