March 4, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patiala, PUNJAB (March 04, 2011): The Sikh Students Federation has strongly criticized the ruling SAD (Badal) for its’ alleged failure to safeguard the riparian rights of the people of Punjab. The organization has maintained that the economical as well as ecological interests of Punjab are closely linked with its’ riparian rights that are being denied since the partition of 1947.
“Denial of riparian rights has hit the Punjab economy as it has increased the cost of agricultural production. On the one hand farmers are forced to install heavy and costly installations to extract ground water and on the other had Punjab is unable to make the most of its’ canal irrigation system due to shortage of water” reads a statement issued by SSF, which also enumerates the denial of royalty in lieu of water and hydro power allocated to non-riparian states in the list of economic losses caused to the State.
SSF President Parmjeet Singh Gazi said that Punjab was heading towards an ecological disaster due to excessive use of ground water. He claimed that as per Punjab Government’s own statistics majority of the Punjab’s Blocks were overexploited.
“Previously rights of Punjab were violated through illegal arrangements, made from time to time at the behest of Centre, but since the adoption of Section 5 of Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 illegal allocation of Punjab’s river water to non-riparian states has received the stamp of Punjab Assembly” claimed SSF President Parmjeet Singh Gazi.
He accused both Congress and the ruling SAD-BJP alliance for the current situation. “Section 5 was passed unanimously by Punjab Assembly during Congress rule and current ruling regime, in spite of its’ promise to terminate the section, has continued to ignore the interests of Punjab.” he added while referring to promise made by SAD (Badal) in its’ election manifesto during 2007 Punjab Assembly elections.
SSF has demanded that the Badal Government should take steps to terminate Section 5 of PTAA during the current assembly session. “Punjab Government is holding its’ last session as its’ current tenure is about to over thus it should fulfill its’ promise to terminate the notorious portion of law which has eclipsed the legitimate rights of the people of Punjab” Gazi added.
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