Chandigarh: Terming the resolutions passed in the special session of Punjab Assembly as “irrational and illogical”, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh today hit out at the Badal government’s “refusal” to acknowledge that the state has no surplus water.
Asserting that Punjab is facing acute water crisis, he said the question of give water to its non-riparian neighbours does not arise.
“But for some inexplicable reason, the SAD government’s resolution is completely silent on this key issue,” Amarinder said, and termed as “shameless” the Akali government’s “crude attempts” to “brush this critical aspect of SYL issue under the carpet”.
He accused the Badal government of not mentioning Punjab’s acute water scarcity and its consequent inability to share water in the resolution.
The state Congress chief said all pre-independence precedents, as cited in the resolution, had been overruled by the Act of 1955, which categorically laid down that all water sharing will be free of cost.
“Since that was a Central legislation, you would need to take the Centre’s permission before trying to negate it,” he said, and asked Badal if he had taken the Centre’s consent before resorting to such a measure.
The state government seemed to have deliberately kept its resolution on recovery costs ambiguous, making no mention of future water sharing. But the intent was clear, Amarinder claimed, adding by seeking royalty for water shared with other states from 1966, SAD has laid the foundation for making similar demands in the future.
“In any case, how is recovery of past water costs going to resolve the problem triggered by the Supreme Court verdict in the SYL case,” he asked and accused Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of trying to mislead and cheat the people of Punjab of its rightful due.
The state Congress chief claimed the centre itself had declared 3/4th of Punjab as “dark zone” on account of the acute water scarcity in the region.
“So where does the question of sharing water, with or without cost, arise,” he asked.
Amarinder sought the Centre’s intervention in the matter and asked it to present the real facts of the case before the apex court to enable it to reach a logical conclusion.
Referring to another resolution passed in the special session, he said, “What do they mean by saying that the state government should not give the SYL land to the centre or any central agency, when there is no SYL land left now, in the wake of the Denotification Bill.” PTI
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