SYL row escalates: Khattar returns Rs 192 crore cheque

  • Rajesh Moudgil, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2016 09:53 IST
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar (HT File Photo)

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday returned the Rs 191-crore cheque his government had received from Punjab, along with a letter to his counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, expressing utter displeasure over the stand of latter’s government on the SYL Canal issue.

“I was in the middle of a meeting in my office when your letter was delivered to me at 7.30pm on Wednesday and I opened it hoping it to be carrying your gracious acceptance of the telephonic request that government of Punjab should proactively stop the completely unlawful acts of filling up of the SYL Canal,’’ Khattar wrote.

“But going through its content, I could not help wondering at its brutal brevity and thoughtlessness,” Khattar wrote.

“Your two-line letter on a matter that has serious implications on the lives of millions of Haryanvis merely discloses a certain decision of your council of ministers and your consequent act of enclosing a cheque. It does not disclose what exactly was the issue that your council of ministers was considering? What information was made available to it or was called by it from the state’s bureaucracy or what options were considered and weighed by the cabinet before arriving at the decision? It does not even disclose the date of the meeting of the council of ministers,” reads the letter.

“Let me apprise you that a decision could not have been taken in pursuance of the said bill till it is enacted. And even if it gets enacted someday, since it was not a Money Bill, not a penny could be withdrawn from the consolidated fund of Punjab in its pursuance…..,” Khattar wrote.

“I am, therefore, returning the cheque sent by you with the hope that good sense will prevail and the people of Haryana will be given their due and legitimate share in the Ravi Beas waters,” he added.

Summing up, Khattar wrote, “Before I conclude, let me share with you a development that took place a couple of minutes ago. Upon a reference by us, the Supreme Court of India has appointed your chief secretary and director general of police as the court receivers of the all land, works and property in the Punjab portion of the SYL canal. It has also directed them to maintain status quo with regard to these. I hope that you will now put an end to the free run of the hoodlums who have felled thousands of trees, destroyed wildlife, flattened the structures and filled the SYL canal. I suggest that strict action be initiated against the officials who were mute spectators and silent collaborators in this brazen display of utter lawlessness.”

Earlier in the day, Khattar, while replying to a query of leader of the Opposition Abhay Chautala in the assembly, had said that he was constantly in touch with the Centre on the SYL Canal issue and he had also spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

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