Punjab Democratic Party(PDP) today demanded to reimburse the construction cost of Satluj Yamuna Link(SYL) Canal to Haryana and use the existing infrastructure to irrigate the vast area of agriculture land along the abandoned Channel.Er. Gurkirpal Singh President of Punjab Democratic Party(PDP) in a statement heresaid that SAD-BJP government decision to de-notify the land acquired for Satluj Yamuna Link(SYL) canal was not in the interest of Punjab farmers which is motivated by sheer vested political interests. The decision would not only push farmers into legal battle but also leave thousands of acres of land barren along the canal in Punjab territory.He said that PDP was deadly against giving water to Haryana but demand not to deprive about 200 villages of Poadh region in the four districts of Ropar, Mohali, Fategarh Sahib, and Patiala of water. ‘Poadh’ region is a big area of south east Punjab which is wrongly clubbed with the Malwa region. He said that the abandoned SYL Canal could serve as lifeline for thousands of villagers in parts of these four districts, remained neglected due to regional bias. He said that people of ‘Poadh’ region were since long waiting Government help for irrigation of their agriculture land.
The water table in areas along the unused channel has gone down up to 350 feet and agriculture land is fast turning barren. He said that by de-notifying the land the SAD-BJP government has deprived the farmers of four districts of irrigation and drinking water and also complicated the issue by creating a legal dispute over the canal well knowing that issue is pending in the Supreme Court. By doing so the Badal government has cleverly shifted the onus of legal battle on to the farmers and the future government. The farmers may not cultivate the land due to legal hurdles and cost of filling the Canal, he added.Er.Gurkirpal Singh said that if Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was sincere for the cause of Punjab farmers, he shall refund the expenses incurred on construction of SYL Canal in Punjab's territory to Haryana Government and use the Canal for irrigating lakhs of acres in the four districts of Punjab. He said that filling the canal would not serve any purpose rather it would create a regional imbalance. He said that Sirhind Canal, the Rajasthan feeder and Bist doab Canal were feeding most of the areas of Malwa and Doaba but there is no source of water in ‘Poadh’ region.
Er.Gurkirpal Singh said that SYL Canal constructed in the Punjab's territory from Kiratpur Sahib to Kapuri in Punjab is a ready to use infrastructure. The ‘Poadh’ area otherwise too needed a Canal network and if it is constructed anytime in future its cost would be much higher than the amount to be reimbursed to Haryana. Out of 212 kms of total length of Canal, 121 kms exist in Punjab area.PDP President accused Badal of playing regional politics and looking after the interests of only his native district and home constituencies of his family members in Muktsar and Faridkot districts. He said Badal was ignoring equal distribution of river waters among all regions of Punjab. He blamed PPCC President Captain Amarinder Singh for ignoring the interests of Poadh region and toeing the line of Badal to make the SYL Canal an election issue.Er.Gurkirpal Singh said that the SAD,BJP and Congress has no interest to resolve the interstate disputes including the issues of water, chandigarh and transfer of Punjabi speaking areas. He said that these parties have conflicting political interests in two states and it is in their best interest to linger on the issue even if People of Punjab suffer.