Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, warned on Monday that the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) would become a national problem if the final judgement goes against Punjab. He said that the construction of SYL canal to provide water to neighbouring Haryana could lead to the revival of militancy in the region.
“Punjab would be pushed back to its dark days of terrorism if the SYL resolution does not address the state’s concerns,” he added.
While speaking at the launch of a news channel he said that he had requested Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, to begin with negotiations on the SYL issue through the water resources department “in the interest of Punjab’s and India’s peace and stability”. The Chief Minister also said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
Read more: Punjab govt to launch mobile app for public services
However, BJP-led Haryana government has rejected any negotiations on SYL issue, in response to which Amarinder pointed that all extremist movements in the state, including the Khalistani and Naxalite movements, began from southern Punjab, which would be the worst affected by the construction of the canal.
The CM blamed the former Akali government for plunging the state into a catastrophic situation. He said, “they had been responsible for depriving Punjab of its natural resources which were diverted to Himachal Pradesh and Haryana as a result of the state’s division”.
“Haryana got more water despite having less land, while Punjab did not get any share of water from the river Yamuna. The root of the problem can be traced to the state’s partition and the lopsided allocation of its resources at that time,” he added.
Punjab has no water to nourish and irrigate its own land, leave alone share with other states. Adding to it he said that with less than 25% irrigation through surface water, agriculture in the state has become unviable.
In order to make farming remunerative again for the state’s farmers, he assured that his government is working on several initiatives to facilitate diversification and bring in “a new Green Revolution, not just with wheat and paddy but with other crops”.