Punjab assembly stand on water charges unconstitutional: Khattar

Chandigarh, Nov 16 (IANS) Taking strong exception to the Punjab assembly’s resolution to say ‘no’ to sharing river waters and to demand dues on water supplied to other states, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said it was “unconstitutional”.

The Punjab government stand on the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal — after the Supreme Court’s verdict on a Presidential reference in favour of Haryana on river-water sharing through the canal — was in clear violation of the apex court ruling, Khattar told the media in Rohtak, 70 km from New Delhi.

“In 2004, the Punjab assembly acted in a similar manner (and passed a law to cancel all river-sharing agreements), but the Supreme Court rejected it,” he said.

Therefore, the Chief Minister said, such actions of Punjab will not make any impact on Haryana.

“Irrespective of resolutions passed by Punjab on the SYL canal, the Centre and the President of India will be urged to take action on the issues concerning Haryana.”

“The Supreme Court verdict in favour of Haryana has been a ray of hope to the state’s farmers. Many parts of Haryana will now get water. There is scarcity of water during summers in certain Haryana areas; now those areas will not face such problem,” he added.

Haryana Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister O.P. Dhankar on Wednesday dubbed as “anti-national and political drama” the Punjab assembly resolution on demanding dues from Haryana for river water supply.

“The question of payment for water does not arise. In fact, Punjab should compensate Haryana farmers for losses to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees… farmers in Haryana faced an estimated loss of Rs 30,000 crore every year, which should be compensated by Punjab,” Dhankar said.

–IANS

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