New Delhi/Nagpur: Defying a Supreme Court order, the Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a resolution that the state would not construct the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal. The development comes just a day after the Supreme Court accepted a Haryana government plea and ordered status quo over the land acquired for the canal.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal moved a resolution which said that it “would not abide by any order against its interests on water”, which was passed by the House.
The SC order came at a time when the Punjab government had begun the process of denotifying land acquired for the project in the state and started filling up the canal to return land to farmers.
Haryana objected to the development saying Punjab cannot unilaterally decide on such issues.
The Supreme Court on Thursday directed maintenance of status quo on land meant for Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal after Haryana alleged that attempts have been made to alter its use by levelling the land.
The apex court in its interim order also appointed Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Punjab Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal and Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora as the ‘joint receiver’ of land and other property meant for the SYL canal till the next date of hearing on March 31.
Earlier on Thursday, Haryana Irrigation Minister OP Dhankar on Thursday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying he would stop water supply to Delhi after the latter took Punjab’s side in a water canal dispute between the two states.
“Seeing your stand (opposing the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal in Punjab) Haryana will not be able to deliver your share of water in Delhi since you have stood against the interests of the farmers and people of Haryana,” Dhankar said in a letter to Kejriwal.
“You took a stand against the interest of Haryana’s farmers and opposed the canal only for political reasons. Haryana will no longer provide water to Delhi”, he said.
The Haryana minister asked Kejriwal to build a canal to get Delhi its share of water after the Delhi CM said he was against the construction of SYL Canal as Punjab does not have enough water to share with other states.
Following Kejriwal’s remark, Haryana government told him to remain neutral and not to exploit the situation to get votes in the Punjab election in 2017, where the Aam Aadmi Party is a strong player.