New Delhi:Strongly presenting the case of Punjab before the Government of India on the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today categorically said that the state does 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 water table, so Punjab can’t afford to share its water with any other state”, said the Chief Minister after a meeting with his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khatar in the presence of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
The Chief Minister said that at time when this 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 that now we don’t have any surplus water to share with any state. Bhagwant Mann said that Haryana is currently getting 14.10 MAF of water from Satluj, Yamuna and other rivulets whereas Punjab is getting only 12.63 MAF.
Batting for changing the nomenclature and proposal of the project, the Chief Minister said that instead of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the project should be now conceived as Yamuna Satluj Link (YSL). He said that Satluj river has already dried up and there is no question of sharing even a single drop of water from it. Rather, Bhagwant Mann said that water from Ganga and Yamuna should be supplied to Punjab through Satluj river.
The Chief Minister said that this is the only viable alternative which can be considered in wake of the alarming situation of water scarcity in the state. He said that despite being smaller in area, Haryana is getting more water than Punjab and ironically it is demanding more water at the cost of Punjab. In wake of this fact, Bhagwant Mann said that how can we give water to Haryana if our own fields are starving for it.
The Chief Minister said that the state has a centuries old canal system due to which the district even at the centre of the state falls on the tail end of canal water. He bemoaned that the Union government has not issued even a single penny for the rejuvenation of the canal system due to which farmers are suffering. Bhagwant Mann said that there are 14 lakh tube wells in the state which are pumping water regularly to fulfill the irrigation needs of the state and make the country self-sufficient in food production.
The Chief Minister said that it is ironic that due to availability of surplus water, Haryana is today encouraging the sowing of paddy in its districts. However, he said that on the other hand Punjab, which is battling for saving water, is appealing to the farmers to adopt less water guzzling crops. Bhagwant Mann said that though farmers of the state have made the country self-reliant by producing record paddy but they have over exploited the only available natural resource of state in terms of water.
The Chief Minister bemoaned that in all the water agreements across the globe a clause is mentioned that the agreement will be reviewed after 25 years in wake of climate changes. However, he said that SYL agreement is the only exception in which no such clause has been mentioned. Bhagwant Mann said that this is the gross injustice which had taken place with Punjab adding that the then government at the centre and leadership of Punjab was responsible for this sin.
Training his guns against the Congress and Akalis, the Chief Minister said that both these parties were partners in crime against Punjab. He said that these parties have connived with each other to hatch conspiracy against Punjab and Punjabis. Bhagwant Mann said that as Chief Minister Akali leader Parkash Singh Badal had allowed survey of the canal to appease his friend and Haryana leader Devi Lal.
Similarly, the Chief Minister said that scion of Patiala royal family and former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who was Member of Parliament at that time, had welcomed the then Prime Minister for ground breaking of this sinister move. He said that since the survey till now, every step of these leaders speaks volumes of their treachery against Punjab and its people. Bhagwant Mann said that it is ironic that those people who had hailed this decision are now offering unsolicited advice to him.
The Chief Minister said that these leaders have sown thorns before the Punjab and its younger generations by indulging in this unpardonable crime. He said that for the sake of their vested interests these selfish political leaders have prepared distress for the state. Bhagwant Mann said that the hands of these leaders are drenched with this crime against state and history will never forgive them for backstabbing Punjab.
The Chief Minister said that the state government will defend the interests of the state well before the Apex court too. He said that no stone will be left unturned for safeguarding the rights of the state. Bhagwant Mann said that the Haryana was the younger brother of state but Punjab has no excess water to share with it