The Punjab Chief Minster Parkash Singh Badal said here today that the entire populace of Punjab and not just its farmers face “the ominous specter of turning into a desert in less than a decade and “our children will be deprived of even bare drinking water and will desperate for even a drop of water.” The Chief Minister said that Punjab demanded no favor on river waters issue. “All we want is justice and there is well laid and widely applied yardstick for deciding such cases. This is known as Riparian Principle which dictates that the water of a river belongs only to the state and country or states and countries through which the river in question flows. We have been demanding that this yardstick which had been applied while deciding all other river disputes in the country and even internationally must not be violated merely to loot Punjab and deprive its people of what nature gave them,” said the Chief Minister while talking to newspersons on the sidelines of a Sangat Darshan program at Fatehgarh Sahib today.The Chief Minister said that the reckless loot of Punjab’s river waters had already created a ghastly and scary situation with underground water levels falling at a shocking rate. “It will require
a superhuman effort now even to simply retrieve the situation and arrest the dangerous slide towards the spectacle of death and all round destruction which stares the people of Punjab, farmers and others alike, in the face,” said Mr. Badal.
The SAD-BJP stalwart who is making a strong and formidable bid for a sixth tenure as Chief Minister of the Punjab said that his government would not be able to honor any decision that had the potential of hastening the tragedy of Punjab. “At stake is the future of our children. At stake also is the question of food security for the entire nation.”The Chief Minister made an impassioned appeal to the policy makers in the government of India to ensure that the country came to the rescue of the farmers of Punjab who have for long been the bread winners for their countrymen even during the most difficult era of drought and food scarcity. “Punjab’s farmer came to the rescue of the nation when the nation desperately needed him. Now, the bread winner himself faces starvation and it is pay-back time for the country. It is the country’s turn today to come to the aid of the farmer,” said Mr Badal.Referring to the court case regarding the river waters case, Mr Badal said that there is well-laid and universally accepted Riparian Principle to decide on distribution of river waters among riparian states. “Nothing beyond the Riparian Principle can ever become the basis of settlement of river water distribution. Punjab has always been seeking justice, and nothing except justice, based on this nationally and internationally accepted principle. We are legitimately hopeful that courts will go by this principle alone while deciding on the case regarding Punjab’s rivers. Nothing except this nationally and internationally accepted principle will be acceptable to Punjab,” said Mr Badal.