‘It seems Punjab has backed out of settling water issue amicably’: ML Khattar

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (File Photo)

Stating that Punjab seems to have backed out of the decision to settle the issue of sharing water “amicably”, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Thursday said he hopes that the Supreme Court will decide the issue soon.

He was reacting to the resolution adopted by an all-party meeting in Punjab. The resolution called for a new tribunal to assess river water availability in Punjab and also said that it does not have surplus water and “the government of India should ensure that its river water is not in any way transferred from basin to non-basin areas of rivers Ravi, Sutlej and Beas”.

Talking to journalists here, Khattar said that the Supreme Court had asked Punjab and Haryana to build the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal by finding an amicable solution and with mutual understanding. “But it is positive that in the all-party meeting, Punjab has taken a decision and when this decision taken by Punjab goes to the Supreme Court, then surely the apex court will give its decision soon,” Khattar said.

He said that the statement by Punjab (leaders) was not convincing, “because there has been an agreement and that agreement has been recognised and even the Supreme Court has given a decision”. “Now, it seems that Punjab has backed out of the decision of settling the issue amicably,” Khattar said, adding that now the Centre will file an affidavit in the Supreme Court that they tried to resolve the matter but the consent has not been made. “The decision will be on how and who will be making it (canal),” he added.

Responding to another query, Khattar said that enough time has been wasted on the SYL issue and it will not happen “this time” and he is “positive that Haryana will definitely get its benefit”.

Meanwhile, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda stressed that it was the responsibility of the Centre and the Haryana government to get implemented the ruling of Supreme Court over SYL.”We (Haryana) have already won the case in the Supreme Court. We will fight for our right,” the Congress leader told a news conference here.

Hooda was asked whether he would approach the Punjab government, which is being ruled by the Congress, over the SYL issue.