Other States

All-party meet passes resolution on Punjab’s water crisis

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

‘Centre should ensure water is not in transferred from basin to the non-basin areas of the State’s three rivers’

 

Concerned over the Punjab’s critical water situation, an all-party meeting was held here on Thursday, which demanded reassessment of the State’s water availability and unanimously resolved that the Centre should ensure river water is not in any way transferred from the basin to the non-basin areas of the State’s three rivers.

The parties demanded suitable amendments to the proposed Inter State River Water Disputes Act to set up a new tribunal, to ensure that Punjab gets adequate water “in a just and equitable manner in keeping with its total demand and securing the livelihood of future generations”.

The key parties that participated in the meeting included Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress.

‘No surplus’

A resolution passed in the meeting, which was chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh read: “Punjab does not have surplus water and is facing a threat of desertification with declining availability of its river water and fast depleting groundwater. State’s groundwater that meets 73% of its irrigation requirements, has declined to alarming levels, threatening the livelihood of farmers and other poor people. In such a situation, it is unanimously resolved that the Government of India should ensure that Punjab river water is not in any way transferred from basin to non-basin areas of three rivers, namely Ravi, Sutlej and Beas as per internationally accepted riparian principle.”

 

“Further, alternatives should be ascertained, including amendments to the proposed Inter State River Water Disputes Act to set up a new tribunal for a complete de novo assessment of availability of river waters before final decision, to harness, develop and provide adequate water to Punjab in a just and equitable manner in keeping with its total demand and securing livelihood of the future generations,” it added.

‘Canal fatal’

Though the resolution did not mention the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, leaders of all political parties, including the SAD and AAP, termed any move to construct the canal as fatal for the State.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:15:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/all-party-meet-passes-resolution-on-punjabs-water-crisis/article30634694.ece

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