Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary and the party MP from Anandpur Sahib Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra today asserted that the Supreme Court directive on the construction of SYL Canal to carry water from Punjab Rivers to Haryana was illogical, impractical and hence unacceptable.“SYL canal is to carry share from Ravi-Beas waters and Ravi flows along the border with Pakistan. There are two others rivers-Satluj and Beas- that flow between Haryana and Ravi. Would the honorable judges of the Supreme Court please enlighten the people as to how the Ravi water is proposed to be taken over the two rivers to Haryana? Going by the SYL Canal head, it is Satluj water that is to flow through this canal and not that of Ravi”, he said.He demanded that the centre should constitute an independent statutory institution for the time bound resolution of such disputes in the country on the basis of Riparian principle and optimum usage of river water whose decision should be acceptable to every party to the dispute. Moreover, the centre should also frame national policy on water harvesting for which special funds should be created.
Prof Chandumajra pointed out that it was ironic that the Supreme Court had ignored the very fact that 70 per cent of the water from the three Punjab rivers is already flowing to Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi. Punjab, through which these three rivers flow, is getting just 30 per cent of the share.And 60 per cent of the land in this food basket of the country is under tubewell irrigation that is resulting in depletion in ground water. Can the Supreme Court cite any other example in the country where the state having three rivers has to suffer like this?He said it was equally strange that the Supreme Court has ordered the completion of the SYL Canal irrespective of the availability of water and this amounts to putting cart before the horse.He said it was the accepted norm all over the world that river water is used in the areas in which output is optimum. The best results can be achieved only in the areas that are nearer to the water source. Already, about 40 per cent of the water flowing to Rajasthan from Punjab is wasted through seepage and evaporation.
This is a national loss. He demanded that the Supreme Court must order cost-benefit analysis of both the Rajasthan Feeder that is known as the Indira Gandhi Canal in that state and the SYL Canal rather ordering the construction of the carrier channel to Haryana.He said yet another fact that has been admitted by Haryana when a delegation from that state met President Pranab Mukherji that the issue was of just 1.88 MAF out of 3.5 MAF share as the rest of the water was already being drawn through the existing Bhakra Canal system.He said the apex court directive would push Punjab towards total disaster that could have very serious consequences for the country keeping in view the strategic location on this border state that had been wetness to more than a decade long bloody turbulence during which 50,000 lives were lost and almost every institution of the government had succumbed.