Water disputes cannot be decided in isolation: Hooda



Chandigarh: Maintaining that inter-state water disputes cannot be decided in isolation, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday said the state is not prepared to part with even a single drop of its share of water.

"We are not prepared to part with even a single drop of our share of water," Hooda told reporters on the sidelines of the Haryana Assembly Session.

When asked about the transfer of Chandigarh, inter-state water and territory issues raised by Governor of Punjab in his address on the first day of Budget Session of Punjab Assembly, Hooda said that Hindi speaking areas should be transferred to Haryana.

"The state will not leave its claim over Chandigarh and Hindi speaking areas. There have been accords and awards on the issue of Chandigarh, which is the capital of two states. The Hindi speaking areas should also be transferred to Haryana," the Chief Minister said.

While referring to the inter-state water issue, Hooda said it was not the question of Riparian Principle as mentioned by Punjab Governor.

"Earlier, both Punjab and Haryana used to be one state. The issue of water in such cases is resolved on the basis of co-basin. Haryana forms a co-basin as the rivers Sutlej, Ravi and Beas are the tributaries of Indus river," he said.

Hooda urged the Centre to get the seven-year-old issue of presidential reference on Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal resolved expeditiously.

In reply to a question, Hooda said that earlier he had "offered Punjab to settle these inter-state issues through dialogue and the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had responded in a positive way, but the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal was not prepared".

"As both of them had divergent views on his offer for a solution through dialogue, they should first themselves decide as to who is right," he said.

When a reporter asked Hooda if he would send a written communication to Punjab to initiate the dialogue, Hooda said he has already made an offer to Punjab and there should be dialogue.

In 2004, the Punjab Assembly had terminated water-sharing agreement with the neighbouring states and the matter is pending before the Apex Court. The President had referred the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 for opinion to the Apex Court by a reference of July 22, 2004.

The legislation passed by Punjab terminated all agreements relating to the Ravi-Beas waters, including the agreement of 1981 signed by chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Haryana has been maintaining that it was unable to fetch its share of 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) of Ravi-Beas water due to non-construction of SYL canal.

At present, only 1.62 MAF water is being transported to Haryana through the existing Bhakra Main Line.

In reply to a question regarding the role of Opposition parties during the session of Haryana Assembly, Hooda said, "A responsible opposition benefits the state. But the opposition neither made any constructive suggestion nor did they raise any issue concerning their respective constituencies," he said.

When his attention was drawn towards the report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) tabled in the House today, Hooda said that the report of the CAG is always first discussed in the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

"It is never discussed in the House. A representative of the CAG also attends the meeting," he said.

In reply to a question concerning the cropping up of boxer Vijender Singh's name in connection with a recent major drug haul, Hooda said that the law will take its own course. PTI SUN When a reporter asked Hooda if he would send a written communication to Punjab to initiate the dialogue, Hooda said he has already made an offer to Punjab and there should be dialogue.

In 2004, the Punjab Assembly had terminated water-sharing agreement with the neighbouring states and the matter is pending before the Apex Court. The President had referred the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 for opinion to the Apex Court by a reference of July 22, 2004.

The legislation passed by Punjab terminated all agreements relating to the Ravi-Beas waters, including the agreement of 1981 signed by chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Haryana has been maintaining that it was unable to fetch its share of 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) of Ravi-Beas water due to non-construction of SYL canal.

At present, only 1.62 MAF water is being transported to Haryana through the existing Bhakra Main Line.

In reply to a question regarding the role of Opposition parties during the session of Haryana Assembly, Hooda said, "A responsible opposition benefits the state. But the opposition neither made any constructive suggestion nor did they raise any issue concerning their respective constituencies," he said.

When his attention was drawn towards the report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) tabled in the House today, Hooda said that the report of the CAG is always first discussed in the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

"It is never discussed in the House. A representative of the CAG also attends the meeting," he said.

In reply to a question concerning the cropping up of boxer Vijender Singh's name in connection with a recent major drug haul, Hooda said that the law will take its own course.

PTI