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Muddy Waters (adapted from The Indian Express editorial)

Punjab Legislative Assembly adopted unanimous resolution that SYL canal will not be allowed to be constructed at any cost and under any circumstances. This resolution was passed even after the SC ordered status quo on land meant for SYL canal.

Background:

Recently Punjab govt. passed law to denotify the land acquired for SYL canal. Hundreds of crores have been spent to construct the canal. Immediately after law passed to denotify the land acquired for SYL canal (that too free of cost), people began work on levelling of land.

Role of Politics:

It’s alleged that SAD govt. has taken a step to denotify land and prevent construction of canal to generate support among farming community in the upcoming assembly elections. The opposition parties namely, Congress and AAP are supporting the ruling SAD-BJP govt. in Punjab.

Even the central govt. is alleged to have adopted the policy of inaction on the issue and has not taken a step to influence its alliance partner in Union and Punjab state (SAD).

The stand Punjab govt. has brought differences between Haryana and Punjab. Further, Delhi gets some part of its water supplies from Haryana. The Haryana govt. has threatened that it will cut water supplies of Delhi because of stand of AAP govt. on SYL issue.

What Law says:

During 1970s and 80s most of the issues relating to SYL were soughted out. Indeed by 1990s much of construction 212 km canal was completed. Even the international law requires the upper riparian states to lower riparian states.



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