The farmers parked their tractors on the side of highways and demanded to exclude agriculture from the WTO agreement and implement a law to guarantee minimum support price (MSP).
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government is having a double stand over the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue.
Addressing a press conference here today, he said instead of finding an amicable solution to this issue, the Punjab government is shedding crocodile tears.
He said Haryana has always been in favour of finding solutions through mutual dialogue. But Punjab’s attitude towards the construction of SYL and the distribution of water has always been adamant.
He said the Aam Aadmi Party should articulate a definitive stance on the matter. He said the AAP should not confine its discussions solely to Punjab Bhawan but should extend its deliberations to encompass a wider perspective on the SYL canal dispute.
Calling the Mann government a ‘Dau Muhi Sarkar’ (double-faced government) for giving contradictory statements on the SYL issue, Khattar said the Supreme Court has given a three-month deadline to the Central government to take possession of the land which has been acquired.
The CM urged the Central government to immediately start the survey process in Punjab to complete the work of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal. He expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court for its decision regarding the early construction of SYL.
He said that Punjab has always insisted on sharing water instead of SYL construction, whereas in the year 2002, the Supreme Court had given a decree in favour of Haryana regarding the construction of the canal and sharing of water, making it clear that under the Article 9.1 and 9.2 of the Parliament, the cases of disputes between the states will be referred to a tribunal according to the ‘Inter-State Water Disputes Act’.
Khattar said the dispute over the construction of the SYL canal has not been linked to Para 9.3 of the agreement. This makes it clear that the construction of the SYL canal has nothing to do with water sharing among the states and is not a water dispute, he added.
The CM said due to the delay in the construction of the SYL canal by Punjab, not only Haryana is facing a water crisis, but the excess water of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas is going to Pakistan.
Due to this, the country is being deprived of taking advantage of its water wealth. In the last ten years, 1.68 MAF (million acre feet) of Sutlej water and 0.58 MFA of Ravi-Beas water have flowed to Pakistan.
“Therefore, it is important that the construction of the SYL Canal be completed as soon as possible to prevent the loss of water resources at the national level,” Khattar said.
The CM said due to the non-completion of SYL construction, farmers of Haryana are suffering huge losses. With the completion of the construction of the canal, the farmers of the state will have additional water available for irrigation, which will not only increase the agricultural production but will also help increase the income of the farmers, he said.
Highlighting other benefits of completion of the construction of SYL, the CM said only one channel of water carrying is available to Haryana from the Bhakra and Nangal dams and that too is now 69-year-old. If there is any blockage in this channel for any reason then the entire system of supplying water to Haryana will stop, he said.
“SYL Canal will play an important role in preventing this situation. It will work as an alternative channel, which will also benefit Punjab.
After the completion of the canal work, apart from supplying the water of the acquired area of Haryana, it will also carry the extra water coming during monsoon, due to which there is a flood situation in Punjab