SYL meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere, but ‘Mann’ doesn’t agree : Manohar Lal
Punjab government continues to exhibit a stubborn attitude by refusing to accept the decisions of the Supreme Court.: Manohar Lal
Construction of SYL and distribution of water are separate subjects
According to the decision of the Supreme Court, if Punjab builds SYL, it doesn’t mean to forcibly acquire or take away the water – Manohar Lal
Union Minister praised Haryana government for micro irrigation, Punjab government should also learn from Haryana
Chandigarh December 28 –
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat chaired a meeting today between the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab to address the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) issue. Expressing concern over declining groundwater levels in both states, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat emphasized the need for concerted efforts to tackle this issue. Highlighting Haryana’s success in implementing a micro-irrigation system with a remarkable 1000 percent increase, he urged Punjab to draw inspiration and actively promote micro-irrigation practices.
During the meeting, Haryana’s perspective, represented by Manohar Lal, asserted that SYL construction and water distribution are distinct issues. He urged Punjab to move forward collectively on this subject, emphasizing the aging Bhakhra Channel’s importance and the necessity of constructing SYL for uninterrupted water flow in the future.
Mr. Manohar Lal clarified that, per the agreement, Haryana is not receiving its legitimate water share. Despite managing water at its own level, South Haryana and the Aravalli region still face water scarcity. He emphasized that Punjab constructing SYL, in line with the Supreme Court’s decision, does not imply an intention to forcibly acquire water.
SYL meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere, but ‘Mann’ doesn’t agree – Mahohar Lal
During his media interaction after the meeting, Mr. Manohar Lal stated that the SYL meeting unfolded in a cordial atmosphere, but ‘Mann’ did not agree on the issue of constructing SYL. He highlighted the prolonged pending status of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) issue, emphasizing the recent Supreme Court suggestion for the Central Government, along with Haryana and Punjab, to collaboratively resolve the matter.
Mr. Manohar Lal conveyed that the Supreme Court mandates the construction of SYL. In today’s meeting, the Punjab Government committed to submitting an affidavit to the Central Government, detailing the SYL and water situation, intended for presentation in the upcoming Supreme Court hearing. He also emphasized Punjab’s losses due to excess water, underscoring the importance of constructing SYL for the natural flow of water.
Mr. Manohar Lal proposed the formation of a joint committee in both Punjab and Haryana to address various water management issues, broadening the scope of the existing SYL committee. He noted both states’ challenges with groundwater over-exploitation and stressed the need for equitable water distribution. Obstructing SYL construction, he argued, is not the right approach to address these concerns.
Regarding a question about the Punjab Chief Minister’s statement during the floods, Mr. Manohar Lal suggested avoiding such statements. He highlighted the visionary concept of connecting roads and rivers, suggesting that SYL construction aligns with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision.
Present during the meeting were Haryana Advocate General Sh. Baldev Raj Mahajan, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sh. Rajesh Khullar, Advisor (Irrigation) to Chief Minister Sh. Devender Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sh. V Umashankar, Commissioner and Secretary, Irrigation and Water Resources Department Sh. Pankaj Aggarwal, Secretary, Water Resources Department, Government of India, Smt. Debashree Mukherjee, and senior officers from the Punjab Government.