Punjab refusing to cooperate: Centre tells SC on Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal dispute

6 September, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

Sutlej-Yamuna Link National

The federal government has told the Supreme Court that Punjab is refusing to cooperate in resolving the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute, which has lasted more than three decades. The canal, ...

The federal government has told the Supreme Court that Punjab is refusing to cooperate in resolving the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute, which has lasted more than three decades. The canal, which is supposed to supply water primarily to Haryana and some to Delhi, remains unfinished.

The Centre stated in its recent affidavit that the Punjab Chief Minister has not answered to its letter requesting a meeting with the Haryana Chief Minister and Union Jal Shakti minister, as the court had advised for an amicable settlement.

Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Haryana on a petition demanding canal completion in 2002, Punjab’s politics — and even its pop culture — remain opposed to the project, claiming that it violates the state’s rights.

Because of its emotional power, Sidhu Moose Wala’s song ‘SYL,’ which was published shortly after his death, became a flashpoint between Punjab and the Centre.

No party in Punjab openly supports the canal, not even state units of national parties.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which now governs both Punjab and Delhi, recently found itself in a bind after its Haryana incharge pledged that SYL will be built.

Its Punjab branch later clarified that this will not happen, while the national level has maintained that an amicable settlement — as indicated by the Supreme Court — will work best in any case.

The Supreme Court has demanded a report of the matter within 4 weeks.

The next hearing of the case will be held on 19 January 2023 as per sources.