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Punjab share nonnegotiable in SYL canal dispute: Badal to Mann

In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that the CM had not made the Punjab government’s stand clear before holding a meeting with his Haryana counterpart on the SYL issue.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Tuesday, warned Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann against reducing Punjab’s share of river waters while negotiating the issue (Satluj-Yamuna Link canal dispute) with Haryana.

In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that the CM had not made the Punjab government’s stand clear before holding a meeting with his Haryana counterpart on the SYL issue.

He said Punjab had an exclusive right over its river waters and Haryana being a non Riparian state had no locus standi in the matter. “There is nothing to discuss here with Haryana,” Badal said.

Asserting that no country could go against the internationally accepted principle of Riparian rights, the SAD chief said if non-Riparian Haryana is allowed to demand a share in Punjab’s river waters, what can stop Tamil Nadu or Bengal or Kerala, all non Riparian states with respect to Ravi, Satluj and Beas Rivers from demanding the same. “Similarly if the same used stick is applied what stops Punjab from demanding waters from Godavari or Ganges,“ he added.

Badal also said the issue of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal had been closed in 2016 when then Parkash Singh Badal government denotified the land which had been taken for establishment of SYL and handed it back to its original owners free of cost. “Parts of the canal had been even been ploughed and the canal does not exist in its old state in Punjab,” he added.

Asking the CM to clear the air, Badal said there were deep misgivings in the minds of Punjabis that the AAP government was in the process of handing over their River waters to Haryana and Delhi.

Badal said the entire State would turn into a desert and that its agri economy would be doomed in case the AAP government in Punjab succumbed to pressure from its high command to release water to Haryana. He said the SAD was ready to make any sacrifice to secure the River water rights of Punjab.