Amritsar, September 26
Union Home Minister Amit Shah today invited all members to resolve the water-sharing dispute with an open mind through mutual dialogue as he chaired the 31st North Zonal Council (NZC) meeting here.
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann reiterated that the state had no spare water to share from the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with any other state. As many as 28 issues were taken up at the meeting, including distribution of inter-state river water, provision of bank branches and postal banking facility in villages, matters related to Punjab University, prevention of cybercrime, Jal Jeevan Mission and resumption of air services under UDAN scheme. The Union Home Minister assured the Centre was committed to security and vigilance of the borders and soon an anti-drone system would be established at the borders.
“Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, the government has achieved success in curbing narcotics and terrorism. More recruitment in the Central Armed Police Force and the Army would be done from states of the northern region,” he said.
Promising compensation for the damage caused by floods in HP, Shah said: “All possible assistance will be given to Himachal.”
On the water distribution row between the states, he said: “Let’s discuss this matter with an open mind and giving impetus to the cooperative movement. It will help take more than 60 crore people of the country towards prosperity.”
He asked state representatives to take up issues such as dropout of schoolchildren and malnutrition on a priority basis. “Not even a single child should remain malnourished in the country and it would be our equal responsibility to reduce the school dropout rate,” he said.
In his address, Mann said the compensation offered to farmers during the recent floods was too meagre and should be revised. He opposed the proposal of having a third member in the BBMB from an outside state because the body was constituted under the provisions of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, which dealt with Punjab and Haryana. He made a strong case for handing over of Chandigarh to Punjab.
Khattar rakes up SYL, PU affiliation
Haryana CM ML Khattar again raked up contentious issues such as the SYL canal and affiliation of Haryana colleges with Panjab University.
Khattar batted for urgent completion of the construction work of the SYL canal in the Punjab region. He claimed that surplus water from the Ravi, Sutlej and the Beas was currently flowing into Pakistan and constructing the SYL canal would enable the productive utilisation of valuable water resource.
Himachal CM Sukhvinder Sukhu seeks special flood-relief package
Himachal CM Sukhvinder Sukhu demanded a special relief package in the wake of Rs 12,000-crore losses suffered during the monsoon and handing over of the 110 MW Shanan hydel project by Punjab to Himachal on the expiry of its lease period.
He sought early resolution of all disputes with the neighbouring states. He urged enhancement in royalty as free power and amendment to the norms for providing relief package to hill states.
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