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Punjab Assembly condemns Himachal water cess on hydro projects

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said it is a major setback to the interests of Punjab and its people.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |


Terming water as the legitimate right of the state as per Riparian law, the Punjab Assembly led Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday condemned the move of Himachal Pradesh government to impose water cess on hydropower projects.

Endorsing the resolution moved by state Water Resources Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer to condemn the move of Himachal Pradesh government, the CM said it is a major setback to the interests of Punjab and its people.

He said contrary to its name, Punjab (the land of five rivers) is today facing serious challenges in terms of potable water. Mann said the fresh move of Himachal Pradesh government is the latest attack on the waters of the state which cannot be tolerated.

Taking cudgels against the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, the CM said the move of the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Government is illegal and irrational. He said Punjab has legitimate right over the river waters and no one can snatch it from the state.

Mann said the state won’t pay even a single penny for the water flowing through its land. He said this move of Congress government is aimed at dividing the country adding that this is not ‘Bharat Jodo’ but it is ‘Bharat Todo’ campaign.

He also questioned the absence of the Congress leaders of Punjab from the Assembly when the state was deliberating a serious issue concerning the waters of the state. He said these leaders (of Congress) have always backstabbed Punjab, but the state government will leave no stone unturned to solve all the issues being confronted by Punjab.

The CM said this “shameless act” of the Himachal Pradesh government has exposed that Congress has several faces and they use these masks as per their political convenience. He said the Congress leaders make tall claims about federal structure but in real terms they act as per their own political interests.

Mann said this time again congress has hatched a conspiracy to divest Punjab of its rights but this will not be allowed at any cost.

The CM advised the Himachal Pradesh government to refrain from taking such steps which will dilute the powers of the states. He said the Centre already wants a chance to meddle in the affairs of the states adding that by racking up such issues the Himachal Pradesh government is giving a chance to the Union government to unnecessarily intervene in matters pertaining to the state. Mann also said that if the Congress government goes ahead with this plan then with what face they will make claims for federal structure in the country.