Punjab has all rights to demand fair adjudication of water availability before the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal as norms require a review after every 25 years to ascertain the status while the water sharing proposed by the Eradi Commission has been 40 years old.
Things have changed drastically since the start of all process to construct SYL. Any final decision on SYL must be taken after reviewing the current situation of the state and not as per the position of the state, 40 years back.
Though Punjab and Haryana stuck to their “earlier positions” on the contentious SYL on Tuesday as Haryana demanded the earliest completion while Punjab opposed it, Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat offered an illogical solution by saying that SYL could be completed and kept ready while discussions on water sharing should be continued and the final formula could be decided later.
But how Punjab can allow the construction of an SYL when it’s unwilling even to spare a single drop of water.
Both states should understand that there had been no adjudication of available Punjab river waters till date. Haryana has 12.48 MAF total river water while Punjab has 12.42 MAF despite the fact that Haryana has a smaller population and lesser cultivated land area than Punjab.
Apart from it, the groundwater of Punjab has been depleting fast and 109 blocks of state out of total 128, have already been declared dark zones.
Central BJP should play an appropriate role in solving the SYL canal issue as it’s an emotive issue for Punjab residents and things may go out of hand if it centre tries to take any coercive step.