CM Capt Amarinder Singh has reiterated the need for a tribunal to make a fresh time-bound assessment of water stability.
He sought a complete share of water for Punjab from the total available resources which also includes river Yamuna.
He said, “You have to look at the issue from the national security perspective. If you decide to go ahead with the SYL canal, Punjab will burn and it will become a national problem, with Haryana and Rajasthan also suffering the impact.” in the video-conference with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Capt. mentioned that Punjab had a right to Yamuna water, in which it did not get a share at the time of 60:40 division of assets with Haryana in 1966, even as he expressed his willingness to sit across the table with his Haryana counterpart to discuss the “emotive” issue.
It was also suggested by Capt. Amarinder Singh that Rajasthan should be involved in the discussions on the water issue as it was also a stakeholder. He described the meeting as “positive and cordial” and said the Union Minister seemed to understand Punjab’s viewpoint.
Pointing to Pakistan’s continued attempts to foment trouble and to try and revive the separatist movement through the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organisation, he suggested that Punjab remains at risk from all sides and the water issue could further destabilize the state.
It was decided during the meeting that the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana would meet in Chandigarh for further talks on the issue. Then they would go to the Union Minister again.
Putting forth Punjab’s stand, Capt. Amarinder said it was necessary to set up a tribunal for fair adjudication of the water availability.
The Chief Minister recalled that he had suggested the construction of water storage dams in Himachal Pradesh for collecting water, so that the flow of water into Pakistan could be checked. He urged the Union Minister to consider the suggestion.