Wednesday, July 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

River waters: Punjab to move SC
To focus on transfer of UT, Punjabi-speaking areas
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 9
After its anti-corruption drive, the state will concentrate on getting the transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas into Punjab and fair adjudication of inter-state river waters.

This was disclosed today by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, during his visit to forward positions of the 2nd Sikh Regiment, somewhere in the Western Sector.

The Chief Minister said Punjab did not have even a single drop of surplus water which could be given to any other state. To a question, he said, “Punjab will soon file a fresh petition in the apex court for getting its share of river waters because Haryana has 80 lakh acres of cultivable land and is getting 14.5 MAF of water, while Punjab has 105 lakh acres of cultivable land and is getting 12, MAF”.

He quipped, “It is an irony that a state with larger areas is getting less river water”. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances, it was out of question to give more water to Haryana.

Asked when a probe would be ordered against the huge property amassed by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Capt Amarinder Singh said it would take time since the Vigilance Bureau had been working overtime to deal with the previous cases of corruption. He reiterated that the drive against corruption would continue till the arrest of every corrupt person. He said an ordinance against other batches recruited during the tenure of the tainted PPSC chief would be issued shortly.

Addressing ex-servicemen and serving officials of the 2nd Sikh Regiment, Capt Amarinder Singh said it was a sort of homecoming for him as he had served this regiment from 1962 to 1964. He admitted that he was feeling nostalgic to be present among serving Army men and ex-servicemen of the regiment.

He said his family had a long association of more than 100 years with this regiment as his grandfather, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, and father, Maharaja Yadvinder Singh, served the same regiment in 1910 and from 1932 to 1935, respectively. He pointed out that the regiment was known for its exemplary courage and valour and had successfully faced challenges in the past.

Capt Amarinder Singh gifted 18 colour television sets, 15 air coolers, 10 water coolers, four mobile phone sets and five water purifiers to jawans. He also redressed grievances of ex-servicemen. He added that the Ludhiana Welfare Association had been constituted for the redressal of the problems and grievances being faced by them.

To a query about the outcome of the recent meeting with World Bank officials, the Chief Minister said it was a preliminary meeting with the officials as the state had not received any assistance from World Bank for the past five to six years due to freebies and populist measures taken by the previous government. His government had taken reformatory measures in the recent Budget, he claimed.

He was confident about seeking financial assistance from World Bank as it had agreed to send a team of experts to visit Punjab soon to interact with various ministries. He was hopeful of getting adequate financial assistance for its novel projects in areas of diversification, rural development and social infrastructure.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the state government would adequately compensate the farmers of border areas whose land had come under mines. He said most of the compensation had been distributed, while sufficient compensation would be distributed during the kharif season.


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