Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today met senior counsel Harish Salve representing the state in the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) case in the Supreme Court, slated for hearing on November 30.
Disclosing this here, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Badal called on Harish Salve in his office on Tuesday morning and apprised him that SYL was not merely a political or legal issue for them rather it was an emotive issue, which should be tackled as top priority with utmost sensitivity and caution, as river waters was the lifeline of every Punjabi especially the farmers.
Badal said that 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.
"The people of Punjab are the custodians of the river waters in the state and won’t allow to share a single drop of it with any state as Punjab didn’t have spare water to share with anyone,” he said.
The Chief Minister told the counsel that despite the owners of river waters, the farmers of Punjab had to rely heavily on tubewells, as 73 per cent of irrigation was being done through them resulting in fast depletion of water table.
He said 110 out of 135 of Punjab's blocks have turned "dark" - meaning an alarming crisis of underground water availability. Out of these, 45 blocks have been declared "critical" by the Central Groundwater Board and no further water could be drawn from sub surface resource in these 45 blocks.
He added that 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 and 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 will never be tolerated at any cost," he added.