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Punjab puts up its defence on SYL issue to Centre

IANS  |  New Delhi 

With the Supreme closely monitoring developments on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the on Thursday apprised the Centre of the critical water situation in the state to stress its inability to share water with its neighbouring states.

The has urged the Narendra Modi at the Centre to intervene in the SYL canal matter "to save from an ecological disaster".

Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and other senior officers met Union Ministry of Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh here to convey Punjab's stand on the SYL issue, which is currently pending in the Supreme

The case is next scheduled to come up for hearing in the apex on April 27.

At the last hearing, the central had sought deferment in view of the April 20 meeting convened by it to resolve the issue festering between Haryana and for the past several decades. The Supreme Court, in November last year, had ruled in favour of Haryana on the water sharing issue through SYL canal.

The newly installed Congress in had also sought time from the Supreme to prepare its case.

The has urged the Centre "to take steps to prevent monsoon run-off to Pakistan and ensure that every extra drop of water is allowed to be used by Punjab", a spokesperson said.

Pointing out that did not have surplus water to share, the delegation urged the central to come up with a realistic solution to the problem, keeping the state's water scarcity in view.

"With only 28 per cent of its land canal-irrigated and the rest dependent on tubewells, was in urgent need of expansion of its canal system to prevent the water crisis in the state from aggravating to devastating levels," the delegation told the Union Secretary.

Pointing to the alarming decline in ground water table in the state, the delegation noted that the state was losing 12 MAF (million acre feet) of ground water every year, leading to a huge stress on the ground water system.

"In fact, 100 of a total of 138 blocks had been rendered 'dark blocks' as a result of over-exploitation of underground water to sustain agriculture. Of these, 45 had further been declared 'critical' by the central government," it was pointed out.

The delegation further noted that the sub-soil of the southern region was brackish and the people were dependent on canal water even for their drinking needs. Construction of the SYL canal would lead to an estimated 10 lakh acres of land in the region going dry, they further told the central

The Union Water Resource Ministry later met a delegation of the Haryana to take their views on the issue.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 20 2017. 20:54 IST