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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

SC grants 4 more months to Centre, Punjab, Haryana on SYL issue

Punjab government has demanded a negotiated settlement between the two states with the help of the Centre.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2019 06:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A fresh time frame was fixed by a bench led by justice Arun Mishra after attorney general KK Venugopal asked for three more months to discuss and settle the vexed dispute.
A fresh time frame was fixed by a bench led by justice Arun Mishra after attorney general KK Venugopal asked for three more months to discuss and settle the vexed dispute.(HT FILE)
         

Supreme Court on Tuesday granted four more months to Punjab, Haryana and the Centre to resolve differences on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, saying it was willing to wait for an amicable settlement to the dispute to be worked out.

A fresh time frame was fixed by a bench led by justice Arun Mishra after attorney general KK Venugopal asked for three more months to discuss and settle the vexed dispute. The bench gave four months for the talks after the Haryana government counsel said the court must fix a time frame for concluding the discussions.The counsel said the talks cannot go on indefinitely.

The Punjab government has demanded a negotiated settlement between the two states with the help of the Centre. The two states are at loggerheads over a controversial 1981 water-sharing agreement. Haryana state was carved out of Punjab in 1966.

The agreement proposed the construction of the SYL canal for effective allocation of water,with each state required to fund the portion falling in its territory. While Haryana completed its portion of the SYL canal, Punjab, after the initial phase, stopped work on it. This led to multiple cases reaching the top court.

In 2004, the Congress government in Punjab came out with the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act to annul the 1981 agreement and all other pacts relating to sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas rivers. This was two years after the top court decreed Haryana’s suit and ordered Punjab to fulfil its commitments on water sharing.

In 2004, the Supreme Court rejected Punjab’s original suit and asked the Centre to take over the remaining infrastructure work on the canal.

First Published: Sep 04, 2019 01:14 IST