Chandigarh: A queer situation seems to have emerged for President of India Pranab Mukharjee to handle Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue with Supreme Court giving its verdict against Punjab. Since after the judgment came, Punjab is on the boil and leaders of main political parties Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have decided to meet President seeking his intervention.
After SC pronounced the verdict in favour of Haryana, a copy of the judgment will go to the President who after discussing it with experts will give his decision.
Since the ball is now in President’s court, not only Punjab but Haryana too has to struggle for it’s share of water.
Sources however, disclosed that BJP led Haryana government has started mounting pressure on BJP led NDA government for the early implementation of SC verdict. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday wrote to President Mukherjee seeking an audience, along with his council of ministers, with regards to the Presidential consent to the Punjab Bill on Terminations of agreement.
In his letter, Badal has said,” A Bill passed by Punjab Vidhan Sabha, “The Punjab Termination of River Water Agreement Act, 2004, is awaiting your consent. In the mean time, the Supreme Court has given an advice which has raised serious apprehensions in the minds of Punjab people. .. Constitution of India clearly forbids the Indian government for arrogating to itself the right to adjudicate on distribution of waters among states. Grave injustice has been done to Punjab by government of India violating this constitutional clause”.
Meanwhile, Punjab Congress chief and former Chief Minister of state Capt Amarinder Singh in a press conference claimed that the state unit of the Congress will meet President in connection with the SYL Canal issue.
According to experts, if President agrees with the SC verdict, then he will have to scrap Punjab Termination of River Water Agreement Act, 2004. The stake holders were to be informed subsequently.
This clearly shows that the Punjab and Haryana states will have to appear before President and give evidences, facts and justifications to stake their claims on the river waters.
Despite all favours, for Haryana it is not so easy to get the waters. Though the SC pronounced its verdicts in favour of Haryana, yet the land acquired by Punjab for the construction of SYL Canal has already been returned to the farmers. In March 2016, Punjab even had returned Rs 191.75 crore (by cheque ) to Haryana that Punjab had taken for SYL Canal. Haryana has to fight with Punjab on this front also.
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