With the Supreme Court yet to come up with its final verdict on Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the apprehensive Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has started mobilising village panchayats across the state to prepare for an intense struggle to save the state’s right to its waters.
More than 500 village panchayats of Bathinda and Muktsar districts have passed resolutions to stand by government at any cost so as to fight for Punjab waters. The resolutions, in addition to a memorandum, were submitted to President, Prime Minister and to additional deputy commissioner (ADC).
In a meeting with representatives of gram panchayats on Friday, the senior Akali leaders extorted people not to allow construction of SYL canal.
The final verdict on the issues is expected to come in July as the apex court has already reserved its judgment on the Presidential reference on the validity of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004.
In 2004, the Punjab assembly in the tenure of former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had passed a legislation to annul water-sharing agreements with other states. The same year, through a Presidential reference, the Centre had sought opinion from the Supreme Court on the legislation’s validity.
Minister for rural development and panchayat Sikander Singh Maluka said almost all the panchayats have passed the resolutions across the state, while the district wise meetings will be held in coming days.
“Any unjust and unilateral action discriminating against Punjab on the issue would ruin the state. What may be the decision, but you (people) have to ensure that Punjab should not let go even a single drop of water to neighbouring states—Haryana and Rajasthan”, Maluka said in the meeting.
Farmers term it a poll stunt
Terming passing of resolutions as mere poll stunt, the leaders of Bhartiya Kisan Union (ugarahan) said the move was motivated to divert attention from other important farmers related issues.
Shingara Singh Mann, district president of the union said, the SAD is shedding crocodile tears over the issue.
“Even SAD, which earlier protested of SYL then, also helped in acquiring land for the canal after Rajiv-Longowal accord in 1985,” Mann said.