Punjab CM Amarinder Singh says Satluj-Yamuna Link issue will be resolved through dialogue

Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday expressed hope that the contentious SYL issue would be resolved through dialogue and said the Union home minister has assured him that the Centre was pursuing the matter.

He said this during a press conference in Chandigarh when told that Haryana's main opposition party INLD has threatened to stop vehicles entering the state from Punjab on 10 July over the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue.

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. AFP

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. AFP

"Our objective is not to disturb the process, we want it to happen, we want Haryana to get water, we want everyone to get water, but it was important to first ascertain the quantum of water available in the state," he said.

Singh said he had earlier also suggested that the two states should sit and discuss the SYL issue threadbare in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

But, Haryana outrightly rejected the idea, he added.

Meanwhile, Singh said his government was also set to formally ban truck unions and announce the new transport policy on Thursday.

"We cannot allow cartelisation. There was too much interference by these unions and as a result we were pushing away industry," he said.

He also said the cabinet will meet on Wednesday to stamp its approval on the establishment of a Rs 100 crore Road Safety Fund.

To a question on the recent sand mining auctions, the chief minister said the government's efforts to eliminate the mafia had led to shortage of the commodity, causing an increase in its price, but the situation would ease in the coming months.

The government had, through a single auction, raised a revenue of Rs 280 crore, which was expected to rise to Rs 500-600 crore per annum once all auctions are completed, he said, adding the progressive e-auction mining policy would generate an additional revenue of Rs 4000-5000 crore, which was earlier being pocketed by the mafia.

He claimed the governance reforms undertaken by his regime would go a long way in cleaning up the system of corruption and mafia rule.

In this context, he cited his government's decision to bring the chief minister, along with all ministers and bureaucrats, in the ambit of the Lokpal Bill, as also the move to give judicial powers to panchayats to settle petty matters without these heading towards the courts.

He further said the Governance Ethics and Reforms Commission set up by his government for comprehensive systematic reforms in the state would scrutinise all transactions above Rs 50 crore.

Cash transfers to the bank accounts of genuine beneficiaries and special courts to settle matters concerning NRIs, serving soldiers, drug peddlers etc would further help in improving governance, he added.

To a question on the delay in setting up of NRI courts, the chief minister said establishment of a court required a minimum of 500 cases but since there were not enough such cases to be dealt with, his government was merging the same with ex-servicemen's court.

On the cable TV issue, Singh said, "There is no cable policy, you want to put up a cable tomorrow, you can put it. We are clear in our manifesto that there is going to be no censorship of any sort."

"The more channels come the better it is as more competition will be there," he added.

Updated Date: Jul 05, 2017 08:58 AM

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