Bill awaits governor nod, but farmers already taking SYL land back

  • Bahadurjeet Singh, Hindustan Times, Rupnagar
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2016 17:47 IST
Farmers levelling the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal land at Sirsa Nangal village in Rupnagar district on Tuesday. (Bahadurjeet Singh/HT Photo)

A day after the Punjab assembly passed the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal Land (transfer of property rights) Bill, the farmers of some villages in this district got into action to take possession of the land and fill the canal on their own, even though the governor is yet to sign the bill.

Some farmers of Sirsa Nangal village are using the JCB (earth digger) machines to level the canal. Farmers, including numbardar Ujaggar Singh, Kulwant Singh, Mohinder Singh Bagi, Teja Singh, Baldev Singh, and Kabal Singh thanked the Punjab government for its decision to return the land to the farmers, and also distributed sweets to celebrate it. Bagi even demanded loans to farmers for filling the canal.

At Dhaki village, farmers deployed JCBs and tractors to level the acquired land an fill the canal in the presence of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, including party’s Rupnagar district (urban) president Paramjit Singh Makkar. However, forest officials stopped them from digging earth on the embankments of the canal.

On Monday, the farmers of Majri Thekedaran, Majri Jattan, Dargah Shah and Rampur Majri village had also tried to take possession of the land by levelling the canal embankments.

Rupnagar deputy commissioner Karnesh Sharma said the administration had no instruction yet from the government to restore the land to farmers.

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