<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday claimed that nobody will be allowed to construct the SYL canal as he “has put this contentious issue in wraps forever” by conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the project to its original owners after de-notification.”Nobody will be allowed to construct this canal in future…with conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to its original owners and their lineal descendants after its de notification has put this contentious issue in wraps forever,” the five-time Chief Minister, who turned 89 today, said. Addressing the ‘Paani Bachao, Punjab Bachao rally in this district here, the Chief Minister upped the ante on water issue, reiterating that Punjab neither has spare water to share with anyone, nor any need for the construction of SYL canal.He said that with the historic initiative of the state government, conferring the ownership rights of the land acquired for the SYL canal to its original owners and their lineal descendants after its de-notification, “now this issue was dead for all times to come”. “I firmly resolve that we don t have spare water to share with anyone and what was within our jurisdiction, we did the best within the legal framework to safeguard the interests of the state,” Badal said.He alleged that Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh “who was now trying to become a martyr by smearing blood on his little finger and showing lip sympathy with the people on the SYL issue, was the prime conspirator along with the then Congress high Command and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who performed the ground breaking ceremony of SYL at village Kapoori in Punjab way back in 1982”. “On the contrary, the Akali Dal from day one vehemently opposed the construction of SYL by launching state wide morchas,” Badal claimed.Describing the resignation by Amarinder Singh, the Amritsar MP from the Lok Sabha after the Supreme court held as unconstitutional the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states, “as a mere political stunt”, Badal said “the resignation drama was aimed at deriving political benefit from this sensitive issue rather than safeguarding the interests of the state”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday again appointed receivers in the ongoing Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute between Punjab and Haryana and sought a report from them by December 15 on the present status of land and other properties on the canal site.A bench comprising justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy, however, made clear that Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary of Punjab and the Director General of Punjab Police, who have been made receivers, will not be taking over of the possession of the land, meant for the SYL canal project. The three officers were earlier appointed receivers on March 17 on the plea of Haryana and they were given power to take possession of the project land and were also asked to maintain status quo on the site.Later, a five-judge Constitution bench, on November 10, set aside the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004 which “unilaterally” terminated the 1981 water-sharing pact with Haryana. The bench, however, had not asked the receivers to continue with their job. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Haryana, today said that recently, Punjab government had decided to denotify the land acquired for the SYL canal project with immediate effect and return them to the owners free of charge.The bench, for the time being, did not agree with the submission of Divan that the receivers, like earlier, should take over possession of the land in question as the attempts have been made by Punjab to ensure that the verdicts of this court is not enforced. “The decision to denotify 5,376 acres of acquired land for the project and give them back to 4,980 farmers or their descendants would further complicate the issue,” Divan said while urging the bench to pass an order to maintain status quo on the SYL canal site.The bench issued notice to Punjab on the plea of Haryana seeking enforcement of apex the court verdicts and appointment of the receivers to ensure that the project land in Punjab remains intact. Haryana rushed to the court after Punjab decided to denotify project land and give them back to farmers. A battery of senior lawyers led by Ram Jethmalani and Harish Salve represented Punjab and termed the dispute as “very sensitive” which can be resolved through “government-to- government” initiatives.”Kindly issue notice to us. This is a very sensitive issue. No counsel should strictly go by the instructions of their clients. We all have to find a solution,” Jethmalani said, adding a group of experts can be asked to go into the issue and “the court should not decide the matter strictly on legal considerations”. Salve, also representing Punjab, said there should not be any order to restore the position as it would amount to quashing of decisions taken by the state government with regard to de-notification of land and their return to farmers.”There is assembly resolution…the land cannot disappear. The land will remain as they are,” he said, adding that Punjab is also facing acute water problem and moreover, the ground water is also depleting. Earlier, the apex court had agreed to hear the plea of Haryana alleging that Punjab was violating its earlier interim order that the status quo on land meant for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal be maintained. The five-judge constitution bench has recently held that Punjab cannot “unilaterally” terminate the agreement or legislate to “nullify” the verdict of the highest court.The controversial 1981 water-sharing agreement came into being after Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966. For effective allocation of water, SYL canal link was conceptualised and both the states were required to construct its portions in their territory. Haryana constructed the portion of SYL canal in its territory. However, Punjab after initial work, stopped the work leading to spate of litigations.In 2004, the Congress government of the state came out with the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act with an intention to terminate the 1981 agreement and all other pacts relating to sharing of waters of rivers Ravi and Beas. The apex court had first decreed the suit of Haryana in 2002 asking Punjab to honour its commitments with regard to water sharing in the case.Punjab challenged the verdict by filing an original suit which was rejected in 2004 by the Supreme Court which asked the Centre to take over the remaining infrastructural work of the SYL canal project.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Council of Ministers led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee and urged him not to accept any advice on the SYL canal issue that violates basic Riparian rules.The delegation apprised Mukherjee that acceptance of such advice would irretrievably prejudice the dictates of justice and fair play and handed over a memorandum in this regard. It urged the President that nothing should be done to deprive the people of Punjab of their legitimate rights regarding waters of rivers of the state in violation of the universally accepted Riparian principle. Any advice or decision which violates the Riparian principle would run against the dictates of constitutional framework of the country, it said.Seeking justice from the President as the custodian of the Constitution which fully respects the Riparian principle, the delegation impressed upon him to keep in view that the Punjab government has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Section 78-79 of the Punjab Reorganization Act 1966 and seeking a decision on the river waters in accordance with the nationally and internationally accepted Riparian Principle.Badal, his deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, and other Cabinet colleagues informed the President that “a highly volatile situation” has arisen in Punjab following the opinion of Supreme Court upon the Presidential Reference on this issue. This, he said, has given rise to extreme public reaction and severe unrest and anger among the residents including the farmers arising out of.”The opinion of the Supreme Court has further caused immense stir and fear of sustained losses on all socio-economic parameters among the people of Punjab who have consistently faced the challenges of partition, the brunt of the wars with Pakistan and the period of social unrest,” the delegation said. A Punjab government statement said the state has been constantly making endeavours to meet the challenges of water scarcity, depleting water table and lack of availability of potable water. The new development has delivered a big blow to residents of the State as they reel under the fear of non-availability of sufficient water resource. Haryana all-party team meets President An all-party delegation of Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today called on President Pranab Mukherjee here for considering Haryana’s appeal for implementation the Supreme Court verdict in Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal case. After hearing them out, Mukherjee assured to sympathetically consider Haryana’s appeal on SYL issue after the delegation urged him for implementation of the order at the earliest.After meeting the President, the Chief Minister said Haryana should get its due share of water.The State is asking for its rightful share and not Punjab s share, he said. Khattar said while both states had been allotted equal share of 3.5 Million Acre Feet (MAF) water under the water sharing agreement, Haryana was getting only 1.62 MAF. Since 1981, Punjab has been utilising 1.88MAF water that rightfully belongs to Haryana. He said the Supreme Court had already dismissed the proposal of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to terminate the agreements.Khattar said that the people had complete faith in the Constitution, and the people of the State believe that Haryana would get its rightful share of water so that maximum food grains could be produced and they could get adequate drinking water. Ministers and leaders of other parties in the State also appealed to the President to consider favourably the interests of the people of the State.The delegation included top BJP Ministers from the state and Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is a former chief minister, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, CLP leader Kiran Choudhry, State INLD President Ashok Arora, Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Tek Chand Sharma. Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, Finance Minister Abhimanyu, Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar, Health Minister Anil Vij, Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain and State BJP President Subhash Barala were also present.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday decided to denotify the land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project with immediate effect and return it to its owners free of charge.”The Punjab Cabinet today in public interest has decided that the land acquired for the SYL canal project is free from all encumbrances and stands denotified with immediate effect,” the Chief Minister’s Advisor on National Affairs and Media Harcharan Bains said. The land shall forthwith vest with the original owners, their lineal descendants or legal representatives, “free-of- cost”, he said.The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Necessary orders are being issued to bring the decision in effect immediately, Bains added. The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today declared that it would not allow the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal and said Punjab has not a drop of water to spare for any other state. The core committee of the SAD at a meeting declared its firm resolve not to allow the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal as that will deprive Punjab of its legitimate claim on the waters of the rivers that flow through it.”Punjab neither has a drop a water to spare for any other state, nor is there any legal or constitutional provision by which it can be deprived of its right over the waters of rivers that flow through it, nor will even a single drop of water belonging to Punjab be allowed to be taken out of the state,” the SAD observed. The Core Committee of SAD asked the President to ignore the advice of the Supreme Court as it did not answer any of the issues raised by him.”We stand by the Constitution and the Constitution guarantees us absolute and exclusive right over the waters of rivers that flow through it. If Punjab cannot get water from Ravi and Beas, will it get it from Brahmaputra and Tung Bhadra?” felt the Core Committee members. A resolution passed at the Core Committee meeting today said, “The SYL is neither necessary, nor feasible, nor is there a single drop of spare water available to flow through it, nor will it be allowed to be built.”Punjab itself faces the horrific prospect of turning into a desert because of acute water scarcity and shocking pace at which the sub soil water level is falling.”Besides, no state through which a river does not flow can be given water forcibly,” said the resolution.Giving details of the Core Committee meeting proceedings, party’s general secretary and Chief Spokesperson Harcharan Bains said that the party is concerned and surprised over the advice of the Supreme Court to the President “which completely overlooks the purpose for which the President had sought the apex court’s opinion. The Core Committee said the Supreme Court’s advice, does not answer of the four issues addressed to it by the President of India.The first of these issues was whether the Termination of Agreements Act 2004 was illegal and unconstitutional. The Apex court did not answer that, he said.The Court was required to give details of provisions to support its opinion, he said adding that it did not offer any.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought time from President Pranab Mukherjee as the state government decided in the cabinet meeting on Thursday night that entire Council of Ministers would meet the President to request him not to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court about water distribution and construction of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal.In the letter written to President Mukherjee, Badal said that the Punjab Government respects the court and the Constitution. In the letter, it is noted that Punjab has constitutional and legitimate right on its waters. The Chief Minister said water is lifeline of everybody and Punjab’s agricultural land will go barren without water and industry will also be affected.Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) sources said the government wants to meet the President before the Special Session of Punjab assembly convened on 16 of this month to discuss the situation in the wake of the verdict.
ALSO READ SYL Verdict | Water is our lifeline, we will not let it go: Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal Congress will not participate in the session as all its 42 MLAs have submitted their resignation to the Speaker on Friday.The Supreme Court’s verdict on the SYL canal on Thursday came as a huge setback to the Punjab Government, as it set aside Punjab government’s order repealing water sharing agreement with Haryana. The apex court ruled that the legislations passed by the Punjab Government on the SYL canal dispute stood null and void as a bilateral agreement couldn’t be tampered with by one party alone.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Haryana on the Satluj-Yamuna Link issue, the ruling SAD is exploring options to bring a Bill for scraping all water sharing pacts during the special session of Punjab Assembly convened on November 16 to discuss SYL issue.Besides, taking the fight over the river water issue to Parliament, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to bring an adjournment motion in the coming session, seeking debate on whether the judiciary was bigger than the Constitution or vice versa.”We are exploring options to bring a Bill in the special session of the state Assembly on November 16 to scrap all unconstitutional decisions on inter-state water sharing pacts,” SAD spokesman Prem Singh Chandumajra said today.SAD is examining the option through the Bill to stop the current flow of water to Haryana and Rajasthan, he said.Asserting that SAD was getting ready for a “do-or-die battle,” the spokesman said the special session called on November 16 would decide “future of Punjab”. Chandumajra, who is a Lok Sabha MP, said the decisions taken with regard to the water sharing pacts pertaining to Punjab were either “politically motivated” or taken “under pressure”. We are saying that states are the real owners of their waters as per riparian law, he said. Chandumarja further said that SAD would also raise the river water issue in Parliament. “We will bring an adjournment motion in the Parliament and seek debate on whether the Constitution is above judiciary or judiciary is above Constitution,” he said adding the party wanted to settle this matter “once and for all”.The SAD leader further sought to know whether the judiciary could invalidate a law enacted by the State Assembly on a subject under its preview.The Lok Sabha MP also accused the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of imposing water sharing agreement on Punjab with neighbouring state. A three-member legal team is critically examining the ruling of apex court in order to advice the Punjab government.Political temperatures have risen in Punjab after Supreme Court held as “unconstitutional” the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the SYL canal water sharing agreement with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh.
Chandigarh: All 42 opposition Congress legislators in Punjab on Friday submitted their resignations over the Supreme Court decision on a presidential reference regarding a 2004 law on sharing of the Sutlej-Yamuna river waters.
The Congress also announced a statewide protest on 13 November over what it said was the state government’s failure to represent Punjab’s case strongly in the apex court, which declared as “unconstitutional” a Punjab assembly-passed 2004 law to deny Haryana its share in the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water.
On Thursday, the ruling Akali Dal announced a special one-day Punjab assembly session on November 16 to discuss the issue threadbare.
The 42 Congress legislators, including Leader of Opposition Charanjit Singh Channi, handed over their resignations to assembly Secretary Shashi Lakhanpal Mishra here in the absence of Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal.
Senior Congress leaders Amarinder Singh, who announced his resignation as Lok Sabha member on Thursday, and Rajya Sabha members Partap Singh Bajwa and Ambika Soni accompanied the party legislators.
“(Chief Minister Parkash Singh) Badal has failed to protect the interests of Punjab’s people. We will stage a statewide protest on the issue on Sunday,” Amarinder Singh told reporters in Chandigarh.
“I am not in Parliament and our MLAs are not in the Vidhan Sabha. We will go to the people,” he said.
“Why is Badal not protecting Punjab’s interests? Is it because he has made a lot of money and doesn’t care what happens in his area,” Amarinder asked.
Parkash Singh Badal told reporters: “Our decision to not allow any water to flow out of the state is not a violation of the Supreme Court verdict. The most important thing for Punjab is to save its river waters.”
“We will fight for the state’s rights rather than run away. If we were to resign, Governor’s rule will be imposed. Who will then defend the rights of Punjab? We will do anything to oppose any attempt at building the SYL canal,” Badal’s son Sukhbir, who is the Deputy Chief Minister, said.
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has announced a statewide agitation from December 8 and also call on President Pranab Mukherjee to request him not to accept the Supreme Court’s advice on the SYL issue, a senior Akali leader had told IANS.
At the initiative of the then Congress government headed by Amarinder Singh, the Punjab assembly had in 2004 unanimously passed the law terminating all the agreements with Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Delhi on the sharing of the waters of Sutlej-Yamuna rivers.
This Act was brought to tide over the January 15, 2002, apex court judgement and decree and subsequent judgement and order of June 4, 2004.
First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 18:46 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The firebrand leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Subramanian Swamy on Friday said questioning the Supreme Court’s decision on the Satluj Yamuna Link issue is equivalent for failure of democracy.”Once the Supreme Court has ruled and I have taken the stand in the case of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Questioning the Supreme Court order means democracy in fail. The whole idea of court system is that both sides have strong case and ultimately somebody has to decide ,” he said.Swamy took a jibe at Congress Punjab state president Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation moments after the verdict by the Supreme Court, terming him as a non serious politician.”His resignation is meaningless because he was supposed to represent state in the Centre and not in the Supreme Court. It shows lack of application of mind in part of Amarinder Singh. He is just not a serious politician,? he said.Swamy further advised Punjab government not to take extremist position on SYL issue, but should examine whether there is any scope within the law. to appeal against the verdict. Yesterday, the Supreme Court held the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement between neighbouring states as unconstitutional.Following which, Congress Punjab state president Captain Amarinder Singh decided to quit as a member of the 16th Lok Sabha from the Amritsar constituency in Punjab with immediate effect “as a mark of protest against the deprivation of the people of Punjab of the much-needed Sutlej river water.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday questioned the resignation of the president of the Punjab unit of the Congress party, Captain Amarinder Singh, from the 16th Lok Sabha moments after the Supreme Court ruling declared a 2004 law passed by the state assembly to deny Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal water to Haryana as illegal and unconstitutional.”Has anyone seen Captain Amarinder Singh in the Lok Sabha? A person who has not gone to the Lok Sabha automatically becomes eligible for resignation. He should have been dismissed, he has just done some face saving exercise,” Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and BJP MP Vijay Sampla said. “About the Punjab MLAs, their term was about to get over by next month, that is why this is a drama,” he added.Sampla also blamed the Congress for being the root cause of the water sharing problem. “When the SYL was constructed by Indira Gandhi, then Captain Amarinder Singh was prominently behind it,” Sampla added.Post his resignation from the Lok Sabha, Captain Amarinder Singh has sought a personal meeting with the speaker next week. Congress MLAs have also sent their resignations to the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, and will meet him this morning to personally hand over their letters. The Supreme Court held as unconstitutional the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states. In his resignation letter, Captain Amarinder said he had decided to quit as a member of the 16th Lok Sabha from Amritsar constituency in Punjab with immediate effect “as a mark of protest against the deprivation of the people of my state of the much-needed Sutlej river water.The Centre had said that it was having a neutral stand in the matter in which the court has recorded the stand of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday on the presidential reference of 2004 on the controversy relating to sharing of water from Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal by north India states including Punjab and Haryana.A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice A R Dave, who is demitting office on November 18, reserved the verdict on May 12 after the Centre maintained its earlier stand of 2004, that the states concerned should settle their disputes on the matter by themselves.The Centre had said it was not taking sides and was maintaining a neutral stand in the matter in which the court has recorded the stand of other states — Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.During the hearing of the case, while Punjab Assembly passed a law to return the land acquired on its side for the construction of SYL canal, the Haryana government approached the apex court which directed the status quo to be maintained.The court has also appointed the Union Home Secretary and Punjab’s Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) as the ‘joint receiver’ of land and other property meant for SYL canal. Isolated by other stakeholders over the dispute over water-sharing of SYL canal, Punjab has earlier said the apex court was not bound to answer the presidential reference made at the instance of the Centre which had no power to resolve the dispute.The Parkash Singh Badal government has submitted that a fresh tribunal be set up to resolve all disputes with other states including Haryana on all aspects, which will also cover the riparian rights and the dwindling flow of water. nIt had said a fresh tribunal was sought in 2003, about 18 months before the 2004 law, to review the 1981 Longowal Accord on river water-sharing in view of depleting flow and other changed circumstances.The water-sharing agreement was among Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir. On Haryana’s demand, Punjab has said that after its creation in 1966, it had become a riparian state of the Yamuna and was getting its share. At the same time, it had lost its riparian rights after it was carved out of Punjab.
Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh accused Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday of trying to hush up the “misappropriation” in Rs 12,000 crore Cash Credit Limit (CCL) meant for food grains procurement in the state.Also, blaming Badal for the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal construction, he said the Akali leader has “no moral authority” to question Congress over the issue. “Badal has no moral authority to blame the Congress for SYL as it was he (Badal) who had accepted Rs 2 crore from his Haryana counterpart, Devi Lal in 1978 for the construction of SYL canal, by giving precedence to personal relations over Punjab’s interests as he considered Devi Lal to be his ‘elder brother’,” he alleged.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amarinder alleged that “it is not the first time that Badal misappropriated money meant for procurement as during his previous tenure between 1997 and 2002 too he had done the same thing and misappropriated Rs 4,700 crore in a similar manner.””As they say ‘old habits die hard’, Badal had repeated the same thing by misappropriating the CCL money, most probably in Sangat Darshan programmes, which means the new government will inherit a deficit of Rs 12,000 crore once again,” he claimed.He disclosed that in 2002 when he took over as the Punjab chief minister, his government inherited a CCL deficit of Rs 4,700 crore from the Akali government. He said he had to give personal guarantee to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to ensure that the deficit is cleared, before further CCL was released. “When we demitted office in 2007 there was zero deficit,” he said.Reacting to Badal’s charge that Congress was responsible for SYL, Amarinder reminded him that it was the Congress government which in 2004 had repealed all previous water sharing agreements by enacting a law that legally relieved the state of its obligation to construct SYL and “saved Punjab’s precious water”.He accused Badal of “playing with the emotions of people by exploiting them” and pointed out how he delayed sending the Vidhan Sabha resolution to the Governor for his assent during the last session.
Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday accused Rahul Gandhi of “defaming” Punjabi youths by calling a majority of them drug addicts and questioned the Congress vice president’s deliberate silence on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue.Targeting Rahul for his remarks that Punjab is close to his heart, SAD Secretary General Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said, “If Punjab is close to your heart, why your heart not beats on the injustice and discrimination faced by Punjab since independence.” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the Congress governments have repeatedly humiliated Punjab by calling its demands anti-national. Dhindsa asked the Congress leader to make his party’s stand clear on the contentious issue of SYL Canal. After a meeting with party members in Zirakpur, Rahul today hit out at Punjab’s SAD-BJP government, accusing it of “ignoring” the serious drug problem and “betraying” the farmers of the state. On the accusation by SAD-BJP combine about drug problem claims being an insult to Punjab, Gandhi said nobody can harm the image of the state.”Nobody can insult Punjab. Punjab is the heart of the country. Punjab gives life to the country. There is a place for Punjab in my heart. I want to help Punjab,” he said.
The Punjab Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution on the disputed issue of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, stating that it would not be allowed to be constructed at any cost.”The House has passed a resolution this morning in which all the political parties of the state have unanimously resolved that circumstances being what they are, the SYL Canal cannot be built. They cannot allow it to be built in defiance of the rights of the state over its river waters,” Harcharan Singh Bains, Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The case before the Supreme Court (challenging government of India’s power to distribute water between the states) must be decided before SYL canal can even be talked about,” he added.In a setback to Punjab, the apex court had yesterday directed maintenance of status quo on land meant for canal after Haryana alleged that attempts have been made to alter its use by levelling it.The apex court in its interim order also appointed Union Home Secretary and Punjab’s Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police (DGP) as the ‘joint receiver’ of land and other property meant for the canal till the next date of hearing on March 31, 2016.Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had yesterday said that the state has no water to share, adding that the water crisis has occurred because the Riparian Act was not followed in the case of Punjab.Badal’s comment came a day after the Government of Haryana returned a cheque for Rs.191.75 crores to the Punjab Government following its refusal to accept poll-bound Punjab’s push to pass a bill to return the land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal.In an attempt to prevent its neighbouring states from getting share from Punjab’s river waters, the state assembly unanimously passed a bill against the construction of SYL canal, providing transfer of proprietary rights back to the land owners free of cost.