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'Chandigarh belongs to Punjab': Amarinder Singh rejects Khattar's proposal for special development body for the joint capital

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 


rejected his counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar's suggestion to set up a special body for development of Chandigarh, the joint capital of the two sates, saying the city "indisputably belonged to Punjab".

had yesterday impressed upon the Centre the need and urgency to create a statutorily, empowered and dedicated board or authority for homogeneous development of the Union Territory and its adjoining towns of and Mohali, the region popularly known as the tri-city.

He had said he would separately take up this proposal with Amarinder and the Union Territory Administrator, V P Singh Badnore, also the of

"indisputably belonged to Punjab," today asserted as he rejected Khattar's suggestion. "There was no question of agreeing to Khattar's proposal."

The was responding to questions at an event here.

Singh asserted that Punjab, being the only state without a capital, had a historical right over Various accords in the past had given Chandigarh to Punjab but they were, unfortunately, not implemented, he added.

Asserting that Punjab needed a capital city, the Chief Minister pointed out that it was possibly the only state in the world without its own capital.

being a new state, he said, it should be assisted to set up its own capital, and Chandigarh, should be given to Punjab, he added.

was carved out of Punjab on November 1, 1966.

Reiterating Haryana's claim over Chandigarh, Chief Minister asked Punjab to make New Chandigarh its capital and co-operate on solving the waters issue through dialogue.

was also speaking at the same event later.

Both Haryana and Punjab should co-operate with to resolve various inter-state water issues in the interest of people of the two states.

Punjab should not make it a prestige issue, he said, adding issues related to water between the states can be solved through dialogue.

"I did not like to refer to the waters issue on this platform as the development of tri-city was the main focus of today's panel discussion but the remarks made earlier by the Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, have forced me to make a comment on this," he said.

While describing Punjab as an elder brother of Haryana, Khattar said his state faced serious water crisis as compared to Punjab. More area under the dark zone fall in Haryana than in Punjab, and, at some places, the underground water level has gone down to 1,500 feet, he claimed.

Chief Minister Singh of Punjab and Badnore, who was also present at the event, also rejected the suggestion of an NCR-type Greater Chandigarh Metropolitan Region, treating the entire tri-city as the capital of the two states, a release said.

Badnore, the Administrator, said while there was already coordination between the two states and the UT on certain issues, the same could be enhanced by strengthening his with more people drawn from and

The asserted that territorial and water issues between the two states would have to be addressed before other matters could be taken up.

"Water was critical for Punjab, whose ground water levels were fast depleting," he said, adding that Haryana had more water despite having only 40 per cent of the total landmass of the two states.

"Punjab was divided by the Akalis for their political gains," Singh said.

He also rejected suggestion of making the a central university, while simultaneously dismissing Khattar's offer of contributing to its running.

The Chief Minister raised the issue of Chandigarh Union Territory raising its own cadre, thus eroding Punjab's 60 per cent share in administration.

Responding to his concern, the offered to order an audit of the employees in Chandigarh to ensure that the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana is maintained.

Advocating more cooperation between the two states in areas of mutual interest, the governor mooted the establishment of an International Centre-like setup in Chandigarh.

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

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 20:40 IST