Patiala – Patiala Member Parliament (MP) Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has described the demand by Himachal Pardesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for royalty for river waters from Punjab, as illogical and against the provisions of law. Dr Gandhi in a statement issued here on Thursday while agreeing that Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are co-riparian states in case of Beas and Satluj rivers but contended that the Clause 7 of the Interstate River Waters Dispute Act 1956 forbids a co-riparian state from demanding cost of the water or what in legal lexicon is known as seignior age.Himachal Pradesh being an upper-riparian state can lay claim to its share of waters for its usage and use that water but cannot stop the flow of this water nor divert it, nor sell it to another state. He asserted that the real loot and injustice has been done to Punjab and is still continuing. For seven decades Punjab has been divested of its rights over its river waters and supplied free water to non-riparian Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. Punjab Manch has now filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to restore Punjab’s right over its waters and demanded cost for the water taken from Punjab under duress.Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, while reacting to the demand by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister for seigniorage for river waters, demanded Punjab government and especially Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh to take this opportunity and make the use of the forthcoming talks to re-open the case for riparian rights over river waters and get it decided as per the Constitutional provisions in the best interest of Punjab and its people.
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