SYL canal issue: Sharing scant resource will destroy our people's lives, says Amarinder Singh

Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on November 21 the plea of Haryana alleging that Punjab was violating its earlier interim order that the status quo on land meant for SYL canal be maintained.

Chandigarh: Congress leader and Punjab state chief Amarinder Singh said on Thursday that sharing water would destroy people's lives in the state.

He tweeted, "Punjab is left with just 13 MAF water for itself. Sharing this scant resource will destroy our people's lives. We're prepared to battle it out."

Meanwhile, Congress leaders led by Singh today urged the President to form a panel to look into the SYL issue and direct Central government to consider ground realities and water availability in the state before taking any action on advice of the Supreme Court.

Nearly one million acres of land would be rendered dry and barren and over 2,00,000 farmers and equal number of landless labourers would lose their livelihood, if water from Punjab is diverted to Haryana, Singh claimed.

The party leaders also expressed their concerns to President Pranab Mukherjee that this move could result in outbreak of violence in the Punjab, where the situation was extremely fluid and tense following the SC verdict on the subject.

"If the people of Punjab don't get water there is bound to be tension, which could scale up into violence," Singh said, alleging that the Badal government in Punjab is further "inflaming passions" and "aggravating" the situation with its "irresponsible" actions.

"We have requested the President to look into this matter and direct Centre to take into account the ground realities before acting on the Supreme Court's judgement. And by looking into it means a panel should be formed," Singh told reporters, as per PTI.

On the other hand, SC today agreed to hear on November 21 the plea of Haryana alleging that Punjab was violating its earlier interim order that the status quo on land meant for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal be maintained.

"Let it be listed for hearing on Monday," a bench of Justices AR Dave and AM Khanwilkar said when the counsel for Haryana mentioned its fresh plea and sought urgent hearing saying that the efforts have been made to breach the earlier order asking Punjab to maintain status quo on the land meant for the canal project.

Recently, the Punjab government decided to denotify the land acquired for SYL canal project with immediate effect and return it to its owners free of charge.

The state government's decision assumed significance as a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Dave had recently held as "unconstitutional" the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004 which "unilaterally" terminated the 1981 water-sharing pact with Haryana.

The apex court has held that Punjab cannot "unilaterally" terminate the agreement or legislate to "nullify" the verdict of the highest court.

(With Agency inputs)

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