Former MLA to march towards Delhi seeking SYL Canal construction

Haryana Yuva Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, which that has been leading a march for the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal from Ateli till Delhi, said that it would surround Delhi on January 7 and court arrests, if the Central government did not act in the matter.

The march that started on December 30 from Ateli and reached Gurugram on Monday, with protesters covering a distance of about 100 kilometres so far.

Punjab and Haryana are locked in a dispute over the sharing of the Ravi-Beas waters for decades. While Haryana wants its share, as was decided when the state was carved out of Punjab along with Himachal Pradesh 50 years ago, successive Punjab governments have refused to share the water.

The 212km-long SYL Canal was to carry Haryana’s share of water to its dry and arid southern part, with 121 kilometres of the canal to run through Punjab and the remaining 91km through Haryana. The Haryana portion was completed in June 1980, but Punjab is yet to complete the canal.

While addressing a press conference in the city on Monday, Samiti chairman and former Ateli MLA Naresh Yadav said that farmers of Ahirwal region in southern Haryana were in need of water, but the Central government had not taken any steps in this regard.

“Despite the Supreme Court ruling in favour of Haryana, Punjab is not ready to share water with Haryana. Farmers of the region are struggling due to this, “ said Yadav.

He said that thousands of acres of land had turned barren in the Ahirwal region due to shortage of water and that construction of the SYL Canal was the only solution. “We demand that the Central government immediately starts construction of the SYL Canal to save farmers in the region,” said Yadav.

He said that thousands of farmers will surround Delhi on January 7 if the Central government failed to take action on the construction of the canal soon.

BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said that the Punjab government needed to build the canal and the central government will take care of everything else. “SYL is the lifeline for South Haryana. The construction of the canal is needed for the people here. However, we need to take cognisance of the fact that the Supreme Court has already given some orders. The Punjab government needs to complete the canal. We will look into the aspects of how and when to bring the canal,” said Malik.

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