Chandigarh: The Punjab Government on Wednesday returned all the funds (Rs 191.75 crore) received for the proposed Sutlej Yamuna link (SYL) canal to the Haryana Government.
In a letter to his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stated: "The council of ministers has decided to return all the funds received by Punjab from Haryana for the SYL canal."
"I am, therefore, enclosing herewith a cheque bearing no.997640 for an amount of Rs 191.75 crore," Badal added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Khattar requested Punjab Governor Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki to withhold his assent to the Punjab`s Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on March 14.
In a letter to the Governor, the Haryana Chief Minister also urged him to direct the Punjab Government to immediately restore the status quo ante on the SYL in its territory as it existed on March 14.
Alluding to the "very important and pressing issue", Khattar wrote, "In an attempt to circumvent and divert the ongoing hearing in the Presidential Reference before the Hon`ble Supreme Court of India and to deprive Haryana of its legitimate share of water in Ravi Beas, Punjab Vidhan Sabha has passed the Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill on March 14."
"Through this Bill, the Punjab Government intends to de-notify the lawfully acquired lands for construction of SYL. The Haryana Vidhan Sabha has unanimously passed a resolution condemning this unilateral and unconstitutional action of Punjab on 14.03.2016."
Drawing the attention of the Governor to media reports stating that the farmers in Punjab have already started filling up the SYL Canal in Patiala and Ropar districts, he said it was a "blatantly illegal and irresponsible act on the part of Punjab".
"I, therefore, request you to withhold you assent to the said Bill and also to direct the Government of Punjab to immediately restore the status quo ante of the SYL in Punjab territory as it existed on March 14, 2016," the Chief Minister concluded.