Resolves to extract royalty for water supplied to neighbours.
Chandigarh: After the Punjab Cabinet decided to denotify the land acquired for Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on Tuesday, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, during a session on Wednesday moved a resolution — in the larger public interest — to direct the Punjab government, Cabinet and all government officials neither to hand over land to any agency for the construction of the SYL canal nor allow anyone to work on the project or give any sort of cooperation.
The House also resolved to extract recovery cost or royalty for the water supplied till now to Punjab’s neighbouring states, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. The first resolution passed by the House points out that Punjab needs 56MAF (million acre feet) of water for agriculture, of which river water amount to only 27 per cent and the Central Ground Water Commission has already declared 105 out of 138 blocks overexploited.
The House also resolved to recover the cost of water supplied to the neighbouring states till now. Punjab was working on bringing in the demand of remuneration through a Bill but this would have required assent from the governor, which was unlikely for an emergency session. Hence, it was decided to use all provisions envisaged in the draft bill into a resolution and issue directions to the state government for its implementation.
Parliamentary affairs minister Madan Mohan Mittal reportedly proposed the resolution, saying there have been instances in the past where the state has demanded royalty and got it. He said Patiala, Nabha and Jind were paying royalty till 1945-46 for using waters of the Sutlej river.
Bassi Pathana MLA Nirmal Singh said Rajasthan alone owed the state Rs 80,000 crore as royalty while Simarjit Singh Bains pegged the amount at Rs 15.34 lakh crore.
With the Congress MLAs having submitted their resignation, it was time for SAD to show its doing enough to save the state from the water crisis.
The MLAs, now affiliates of Awaaz-e-Punjab forum, Pargat Singh and the Bains brothers (Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjeet Singh Bains) also reportedly submitted their resignation.