Haryana, Punjab refuse to budge on SYL: Govt to RS

Haryana, Punjab refuse to budge on SYL: Govt to RS

Ravi S Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 16

The government informed the Rajya Sabha today that in a follow-up to the Supreme Court’s directive, it tried to mediate between the governments of Haryana and Punjab to thrash out a mutually acceptable solution to the ticklish Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, but failed.

Responding to a supplementary by Congress member Kumari Selja, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the two states refused to arrive on a “middle ground”.

“We have apprised the Supreme Court, which had asked the Centre to explore for a middle ground between the two states,” Shekhawat said.

The minister’s statement was in response to a pointed question by Selja as to what steps the government was taking with regard to the SYL canal, which was meant to provide water to presently parched areas of south Haryana, where ground water had depleted.

He said that the National Green Tribunal had ordered that drinking water supply should be provided to a village in Rewari district in the matter of Raghunath Singh versus Union of India and others. As reported by the Public Health Engineering Department, Haryana, drinking water supply had been provided to Chirhara village in Rewari district through a tube well installed near the Jalalpur distributor, the minister stated.

He said the Central Ground Water Board and State Ground Water Department had jointly carried out estimation of the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India. As per the assessment, total annual ground water recharge of Rewari district had been assessed to be 42,7000 hectare metre (ham) and annual extractable ground water resources 38,430 ham.

The total current annual ground water extraction was 35,079 ham -- 29,559 ham for irrigation, 5,156 ham for domestic use and 364 ham for industrial use.

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