Punjab Will Burn Due to Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal: Amarinder Singh

“You have to look at the issue from the national security perspective,” said Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Published
India
2 min read
File image of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. 
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“You have to look at the issue from the national security perspective," Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said in a virtual meeting with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, with regard to the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal.

The Punjab CM also warned the Centre that "Punjab will burn" if they completed the canal.

“You have to look at the issue from the national security perspective. If you decide to go ahead with SYL, Punjab will burn and it will become a national problem, with Haryana and Rajasthan also suffering the impact.” 
Captain Amarinder Singh

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MEETING?

According to the Government of Punjab, their chief minister also reiterated the need for a Tribunal to make a fresh-time bound assessment of water availability. Meanwhile, he sought a complete share of water for his state from the total resources available, including from River Yamuna.

A statement shared on Punjab government's twitter account elaborated on the proceedings of the virtual meeting.

“Punjab had a right to Yamuna water, in which it did not get a share at the time of 60:40 division of assets with Haryana during the state’s division in 1966, the chief minister said, even as he expressed his willingness to sit across the table with his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar to discuss the `emotive’ issue. He also suggested that Rajasthan be involved in discussions on the SYL Canal/Ravi-Beas waters issue as it was also a stakeholder.”
Statement

"Why would I not agree to give water if we had it," Captain Amarinder Singh reportedly asked.

According to the statement, the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana will meet again in Chandigarh to discuss the issue, the date for the same is yet to be decided. They will then reach out to to the Union minister again.

HISTORY OF DISPUTE

Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1996, which was the beginning of the water dispute. The Indira Gandhi government had, in 1975, passed an executive order, dividing the water between the two states and commissioned the construction of the canal to facilitate sharing, reported NDTV.

But once the construction of the canal began in 1982, the Shiromani Akali Dal launched a massive agitation. In 1985, according to NDTV, the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi met the Shiromani Akali Dal chief Harchand Singh Longowal and signed an accord for setting up a new tribunal. Militants killed Longowal soon after that.

In 1990, militants also killed a chief engineer ML Sekhri and a Superintending Engineer Avtar Singh Aulakh, in connection with the canal, reported NDTV.

Monday's meeting was held after the Supreme Court asked the chief ministers of the state to discuss the completion of the canal, reported NDTV.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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