The Punjab Cabinet today decided to introduce "The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016” in the ongoing session of state assembly for rehabilitation of land owners by re-vesting of the proprietary rights on the appointed date, by way of a grant in respect of land acquired by the state government for construction of SYL (Satluj Yamuna Link) Canal to the owners or their successors-in-interest, from whom it was acquired, as the case may be, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in other Act for the time being in vogue.
A decision to this effect was taken in a specially convened meeting of Cabinet chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh this evening.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the record of rights would stand amended and modified to that effect by the concerned Revenue authorities from the date on which this Act was notified. The Cabinet also gave approval to the draft bill, which further stipulated that such land owners or their successors-in-interest, as the case may be, would repay the total amount of compensation along with all statuary benefits accrued to them along with the rate of interest to be notified by the government, in 60 equal instalments starting from the expiry of sixth month from the date of notification, failing which the same would be liable to be recovered as arrears of land revenue.
The bill also envisaged that the provisions of this Act would have overriding effect notwithstanding anything in consistent herewith contained in any Act, Rule, Judgement, Decree, Notification, Order or any other instrument having the effect of law.
It may be recalled that the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had on Thursday moved a resolution of utmost significance, seriousness and sensitivity related to the present and future of the state in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, which was unanimously adopted.
The resolution said that Punjab is primarily an agrarian state and river waters are its lifeline. However, after the partition of the country, Punjab had been subjected to continuous discrimination and injustice. According to the Riparian Principles, Punjab had absolute right over its river waters but through various agreements and decisions it had been robbed of its due share in broad daylight. Despite the owners of river waters, the farmers of Punjab had to rely heavily on tubewells, as 73% of irrigation was being done through them resulting in fast depletion of water table. Now the situation has become extremely grave and to tolerate this injustice would amount to signing a death warrant of Punjab and Punjabis. Punjab didn’t have a single drop of water to share with anyone.
The house resolved not to accept any decision against injustice to river waters of Punjab. Any attempt to divest river waters of Ravi, Beas from Punjab and forcefully implementing the decision to construct SYL on Punjab in defiance to nationally and internationally accepted riparian principles would never be tolerated at any cost.
The Resolution commited all Punjabis and all political parties would safeguard the rights of Punjab in unison, rising above their personal differences.
In the light of this historic resolution, the Chief Minister declared that Punjab government would restore the land which had been acquired for the construction of the controversial Satluj-Yamuna Canal in Punjab to the owners from who it was acquired for the construction of main SYL Canal.