Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 10
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Capt Amarinder Singh today sought the setting up of a fresh tribunal to ascertain the exact volume of river waters.
Speaking on the party’s stand on river water sharing, the PPCC chief said the total water was initially estimated at 17 MAF (million acre feet), but the Eradi Tribunal had estimated it at 19 MAF. “Now, the Punjab government, in its communication to the Centre, has pointed out that the figure is 13 MAF. There is a need to have a fresh look at the entire issue of discrimination with Punjab on the issue of water sharing,” he added.
“Where is the water?” he retorted when asked about his opposition to the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, while observing that the rivers in Punjab had virtually gone dry and the flow since the days of the Eradi Tribunal (set up in 1986) had also gone down substantially.
“When they talk of sharing Punjab’s waters, the total amount is increased. But the amount of Yamuna river water going to Haryana is not calculated. It is discriminatory,” he said, adding that he agreed with the stand taken by the Congress in the Vidhan Sabha that land acquired for the canal should be returned to farmers. “Moreover, the total agricultural land in Punjab is 105 lakh acres, compared to 80 lakh acres in Haryana,” he said.
Amarinder was at the PPCC office to address block presidents of the party.
Besides Amarinder, General Secretary Incharge, Punjab, Shakeel Ahmad, Campaign Committee chairperson Ambika Soni, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, secretary incharge, Punjab, Harish Chaudhary and PPCC Senior Vice-President Lal Singh also addressed the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Amritsar MP, commenting on the SYL foundation stone posters showing his photo with that of late Indira Gandhi, said, “I had not issued the posters. I had gone to Kapoori (Patiala) for the stone-laying ceremony of the canal as the then Prime Minister was coming there. But I did not agree on the SYL issue and had expressed my reservations to the PM about the utility of the carrier canal passing through Banur, Rajpura and Ghanaur.”
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