Chandigarh: The meeting held by Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on the vexed issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar in Delhi on Wednesday remained inconclusive, yet again.
It was the third meeting on the 26-year-old contentious issue between Mr Mann and Mr Khattar in the past year, which failed to reach any settlement over the watersharing of Ravi and Beas rivers through SYL canal.
Mr Mann categorically held Punjab did not have even a single drop of water to share with Haryana.
“More than 78% of our 150 blocks are in extreme dark-zone due to depletion of ground watertable, so Punjab can’t afford to share its water with any other state”, said the Chief Minister after a meeting with his Haryana counterpart Khattar.
The Chief Minister said when the “anti-Punjab agreement for the canal was inked, the State was getting 18.56 MAF of water, which has now been reduced to 12.63 MAF.’
He said now Punjab did not have any surplus water to share with any State. Mr Mann held Haryana was currently getting 14.10 MAF of water from Satluj, Yamuna and other rivulets whereas Punjab was getting only 12.63 MAF.
Mr Khattar held instead of discussing the pivotal issue, the Punjab CM and his administrative wing were repeatedly saying there was no water in the State. “Rather they are asking to discuss sharing of water whereas a separate tribunal has been set up for discussing issues related to water sharing. Distribution of water will be done according to the recommendation of the tribunal,” he said.
Mr Khattar added the Punjab Government was not even accepting the Supreme Court's decision wherein the Act brought by the Punjab Government in 2004 had been repealed. The Haryana Government would apprise the Supreme Court of the Punjab's reluctance over the issue and the State would accept the decision of the Supreme Court, he said.
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