Chandigarh, January 5:
Lamenting that all opposition parties including Congress and SAD-BJP had never any intention to solve Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal issue, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday said that previous governments betrayed people of Punjab and allowed construction of SYL Canal for their vested interest. However, the ‘Son of Soil’ Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann yesterday strongly presented the case of Punjab before the central government.
Addressing a press conference at party’s headquarters here, state chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang alongwith Govinder Mittal spokesperson and senior leader Iqbal Singh said that for the first time, the right demand has been raised and CM Mann has asked the Centre to construct the Yamuna Satluj Link (YSL) instead of SYL amidst depleting water of Punjab.
He bemoaned that previous chief ministers including Parkash Singh Badal and Captain Amarinder Singh had worked clandestinely to weaken the rights of Punjab over SYL issue. Kang said that When Badal was CM in 1978, he had allowed his Haryana counterpart Devi Lal to conduct a survey for the SYL canal. Badal had also issued a notification for acquiring the land.
Further giving reference to Vidhan Sabha records, Kang said that Haryana CM Devi Lal, during his address in the session, had said that what his predecessors were not able to obtain, he will do it with the help of his “Dear Friend” Parkash Singh Badal. Similarly, then CM Captain Amarinder Singh had laid the foundation stone of the SYL on the directions of then PM Indira Gandhi. This clearly shows that SAD and Congress had always worked against Punjab’s interests, the AAP spokesperson added.
He categorically said that AAP would take all legal options to protect its waters as Punjab does not have even a single drop of spare water. He said that over 78% of our 150 blocks are in extreme dark zones due to depletion of ground water table, therefore, Punjab can’t afford to share its water with any other state, rather water from Ganga and Yamuna should be supplied to Punjab through Satluj river.
Kang also urged the Union government to sanction a special grant for the rejuvenation of the canal system in the state and save the farmers of Punjab and farming.