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Union Minister to hold SYL meeting with Punjab, Haryana CMs today

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Union Minister to hold SYL meeting with Punjab, Haryana CMs today

Chandigarh, Dec 28 (Ajit Weekly News) Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, will hold a crucial meeting here on Thursday to address the long-standing and contentious Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal (SYL) issue.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann will be attending the meeting.

Notably, Haryana’s claim to the SYL canal is being advocated by the Chief Minister, who is diligently taking measures to secure the right and so far has been actively pursuing the case in the Supreme Court.

An official spokesperson said Khattar had written a letter to Mann lately and had expressed readiness to hold a meeting to resolve any obstacles or issues related to the SYL canal’s construction.

The spokesperson said on October 4 the Supreme Court passed a detailed order regarding the SYL canal, clearly stating that it is not related to the allocation of water.

Every citizen of Haryana has been eagerly awaiting the speedy completion of the construction of the SYL canal, as per the original claim of 1996, as specified in Clause 6 of the decree. In addition, the Chief Minister has been continuously making efforts to realize the long-awaited dream of irrigating the dry land in southern Haryana, said the spokesperson.

“Haryana hopes that the Punjab government will definitely support in resolving this issue,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, before this, a bilateral meeting between the two states took place on October 14, 2022. After that, on January 4, 2023, the second round of discussions was held under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Jal Shakti, where the Chief Ministers of both states were present.

However, all meetings on the SYL canal issue remained inconclusive due to the Punjab government’s negative attitude.

Despite the decisions of the apex court, Punjab has not completed the construction work of the SYL canal. Instead of implementing the court’s decisions, Punjab tried to obstruct the progress by enacting the Repealing of Agreements Act in 2004.

As per the provisions of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, and the orders of the Government of India of March 24, 1976, Haryana was allocated 3.5 MAF (million acre-feet) of water from the surplus water of the Ravi-Beas rivers.

Punjab, by not completing the construction of the SYL canal in its territory, is using approximately 1.9 million acre-feet of water that belongs to Haryana.

Because of Punjab’s actions, Haryana is unable to access its share of 1.88 MAF of water, a statement by the Haryana government said.

The unavailability of this water is causing a significant decline in the groundwater level in southern Haryana. Due to the non-construction of the SYL canal, Haryana farmers are using expensive diesel and running tubewells with electricity for irrigation, incurring additional costs ranging from Rs 100 to 150 crore annually, it said.

Also, due to the conduct of Punjab in its region, Haryana is unable to get 1.88 MAF of water from its share. This situation has rendered useless the irrigation capacity created to irrigate 10 lakh acres of land.

Haryana also suffers a loss of 42 lakh tons of foodgrain every year. If the SYL canal had been constructed in 1983 as per the agreement in 1981, Haryana would have produced an additional 130 lakh tons of foodgrain and other cereals, it said.

This agricultural production would have had a total value of Rs 19,500 crore at a rate of Rs 15,000 per ton, the statement added.

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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