Central team visits SYL canal area in Punjab

A Central team on Thursday visited the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal area villages falling under Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala districts.

The Central team was headed by Dalip Kumar, Joint Secretary, Union Home Ministry, and he was accompanied by Chief Engineer of the Central Water Commission Ashok S Goyal.

The Supreme Court had last month ordered status quo on land acquired for the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal’s stretch in Punjab and appointed the Union Home Secretary, Punjab’s Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police as receivers.

The court order came on a plea by the Haryana government that sought status quo ante in the wake of the Punjab government’s decision to denotify the acquired land and restoring it to the original owners.

Though the Punjab government tried to restore land to its original owners but the farmers are yet to take possession of the land.

Last time when the Central team visited the same area on March 22 they faced protest by Akali leaders and farmers, while this time SAD leadership was busy in organising a political rally in Moga and telling the people about their “achievement” over the SYL issue on birth anniversary of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The same team (Dalip Kumar and Ashok S Goyal) visited the area last time to assess the damage caused by farmers to the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal (SYL) on March 15 and 16 after the Punjab Assembly had passed the Punjab Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal Land (Transfer of Property Rights) Bill, 2016.

Last time, the team visited villages falling under Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala districts and started from Kaami village in Patiala where they were shown black flags.

Patiala Range IG Paramraj Singh Umrangal and Bassi Pathana SHO Hari Chand were also present during the team’s Fatehgarh Sahib area visit on Thursday. - PTI