Punjab refuses to budge, says cannot recover SYL land returned to farmers | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Punjab refuses to budge, says cannot recover SYL land returned to farmers

In a defiant stand, the Punjab government has expressed its inability to recover the land meant for the construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal that was returned to landowners subsequent to a law passed by the state assembly last year.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2017 23:08 IST
Bhadra Sinha
The Punjab assembly had on November 16 passed a resolution to return the land acquired for the SYL canal to the farmers.
The Punjab assembly had on November 16 passed a resolution to return the land acquired for the SYL canal to the farmers. (HT File Photo)

In a defiant stand, the Punjab government has expressed its inability to recover the land meant for the construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal that was returned to landowners subsequent to a law passed by the state assembly last year.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Punjab government has blamed the Centre for not resolving its water-sharing dispute with Haryana. The Centre, it said, did not take a proactive stand and abdicated its constitutional duty.

The Punjab assembly had on November 16 passed a resolution to return the land acquired for the SYL canal to the farmers. The move followed the SC verdict that held Punjab could not have unilaterally cancelled the agreement to share Ravi-Beas river waters with other states.

Haryana had rushed to the apex court challenging the November 16 resolution, which the SC had stayed.

“...the land in question having been already transferred to the landowners in obedience to the resolution of the legislative assembly dated November 16, 2016, the recovery of said land from the land owners is not possible,” read the affidavit filed by the Parkash Singh Badal government.

It advised the Centre to “immediately explore the transfer of Sarda river water to Yamuna under the feasibility report prepared by the National Water Development Agency, a premier agency of the Union ministry of water resources”.

A bench headed by justice PC Ghosh will take up the affidavit on Wednesday. The court had on February 16 turned down the Punjab government’s request to hear the SYL Canal dispute after the announcement of results of assembly polls on March 11.

In its latest submission, Punjab has also asked the Centre to speed up the process of interlinking the rivers. “If this plan is executed, there is no need for either the SYL Canal or sharing the Ravi-Beas water to Haryana,” Punjab contended.

Sticking to its earlier stance not to share Ravi-Beas waters, Punjab said there was no legal or economic compulsion that Yamuna in Haryana should be augmented only by rivers flowing in Punjab.