Chandigarh: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has not given any weightage to the Punjab government’s stand on the issue of water sharing on contentious Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) issue.
The Punjab government has always argued that the availability of water in the state is low, which has not been taken care of. Amit Shah, chairman of the Northern Zonal Council, said the percentage of water share in Punjab and Haryana has already been fixed. He said there should not be any problem even now.
“If water is less available, water can be shared from the existing available water sources as before. Punjab can give water to Haryana in terms of share ratio despite having less water,” he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council held in Jaipur on July 9, 2022, the action taken report of which has now been released by the ‘Inter-State Council Secretariat’. The meeting was chaired by Chairman Amit Shah and attended by Cabinet Ministers Harpal Singh Cheema and Harjot Singh Bains on behalf of Punjab.
The issue of water is in the Supreme Court, but BJP is mounting pressure on the Punjab government to share water with Haryana.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had made it clear in this meeting that Haryana was getting water only from Nangal Hydel Channel and this channel is 66 years old. He said that if this channel is damaged, Haryana will not get water and there may be a flood situation in Punjab.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Khattar had demanded an alternative channel. Haryana said they did not get their share of water which required early construction of SYL.
Haryana had said that 0.59 MAF of Ravi river and 1.30 MAF of Sutlej river is going to Pakistan. Cabinet Minister Harjot Bains in this meeting opposed Haryana’s claim and said that the availability of water in Punjab has decreased.
Punjab maintained that out of 150 blocks, 117 blocks have come under the dark zone. Punjab demanded a share of Yamuna waters on the lines of Haryana. Punjab also demanded setting up of a new water tribunal to assess the available water.
Chairman Amit Shah suggested that Punjab should work on irrigation and other methods to reduce water consumption. Cabinet minister Bains said he had also shared the point of direct sowing during the meeting.
Pertinently, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his Haryana counterpart Khattar had held a joint meeting on the water issue in Chandigarh on October 14 in which Punjab had rejected the construction of SYL from the very beginning.
On September 6, 2022, the apex court had directed the chief ministers of the two states to arrive at a consensus on the issue amicably.