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Haryana

SYL: Centre to hold meet with Haryana, Punjab reps today

August 21, 2019 06:13 AM

COURTESY HT AUG 21

SYL: Centre to hold meet with Haryana, Punjab reps today
PUNJAB GOVERNMENT IS LIKELY TO PRESS FOR CONSTITUTION OF A TRIBUNAL TO REASSESS THE VOLUME OF RIVER WATERS AFRESH

CHANDIGARH: A second round of meeting to work out a way to get the contentious Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal completed will be held between top officials of Punjab and Haryana at New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Punjab government is likely to press for constitution of a tribunal to reassess the volume of river waters afresh. The meeting will be chaired by secretary, Union ministry of water resources, UP Singh.

The first round of meeting held last week remained inconclusive.

DIALOGUE BEING HELD ON SC DIRECTION The dialogue is being held on the directions of the Supreme Court which had asked the chief ministers of the two states to form a committee of officers and ensure that they deliberate with the intervention of the Centre at the highest level to work out a solution.

“Any alternative can only be one that is acceptable in toto to Haryana and Rajasthan,” the court said.

The Supreme Court had in its January 15, 2002, and June 4, 2004, judgments ordered completion of remaining portion of the canal in Punjab territory.

The Punjab government, officials said, is pressing for reassessment of volume of river waters while the Haryana government is firm that its share of 3.5 million acre feet in the Ravi and Beas waters and the completion of the canal are non-negotiable.

ISSUE NEEDS A RELOOK: PUNJAB

Punjab has been maintaining that volume of water flowing though Punjab rivers has come down drastically and the issue needs a relook.

Haryana officials, however, maintained that Punjab has to comply with the Supreme Court orders of January 15, 2002, and June 4, 2004, on completion of the remaining portion of the canal in its territory.

At present, Haryana gets 1.62 million acre feet (MAF) of Ravi and Beas waters.

According to Punjab government, the state’s dependence on river water is more than it was in the past as there is an acute fall in the subsoil water and 79% of its area has turned into a dark zone where negative recharge was happening and every year an average waterfall drop of 51cm is being reported.

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