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SYL canal row: Punjab, Haryana police announce traffic divisions on national and state highways

Chandigarh: With the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) set to intensify its protest over SYL canal issue on Monday, the police of the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana have announced traffic diversions on major routes.

"We have reviewed the situation. Sufficient security arrangements have been made for the smooth flow of traffic. Also, four companies of paramilitary forces have reached the state," Haryana DGP BS Sandhu told PTI over phone.

Representational police. Reuters

Representational police. Reuters

Anticipating disruption in movement of traffic on national and state highways, police have announced traffic diversions on many routes in both the states.

Haryana's main opposition INLD will hold protests at many points from 9 am to 3 pm on Monday, including Lalru-Chandigarh Road, Ambala-Shambhu border, Narwana- Dhanauri, Ratia-Budlahada Road (Jakhal point) in Fathehabad district and Dabwali on Haryana-Punjab border.

Punjab Police Patiala Range IG, AS Rai said traffic would be diverted to routes including Ghanaur-Pehowa and Panchkula-Nada Sahib.

"We have deployed nearly 1,000 Punjab Police personnel to maintain law and order. Senior rank police officials, including SPs and DSPs, would also be stationed at key locations," he told PTI.

In the wake of the INLD's protest, Punjab's state-owned transport undertakings — PRTC and Punjab Roadways — have decided not to ply their Haryana and Delhi bound buses on Monday.

"We have decided to suspend services of 100 buses going towards Haryana and Delhi. The suspension will remain effective from 9 am till 5 pm tomorrow," Punjab Roadways Managing Director, Bhupinder Rai said.

"No PRTC bus will go to Delhi on 10 July in view of the call given by INLD to stop buses," Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), MD, MS Narang said.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday lashed out at INLD alleging that they were doing politics on the SYL issue.

"INLD and Congress have no issues, so both the parties just want to save their nearly eroded political existence in the name of farmers and SYL," he said addressing a public gathering at Rakhi Garhi in Hisar district.

Stating that the Supreme Court hearing on the SYL case would be held on 11 July, the chief minister noted, "A day before, INLD is doing drama in the name of sealing borders. Will we get the water of SYL by stopping vehicles?"

Haryana Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar said the state's claim on SYL was strong legally and the INLD threat to prevent the entry of Punjab vehicles into Haryana will "not only dent the claim but also spoil the peaceful atmosphere in the state".

INLD has said General Secretary Abhay Singh Chautala would visit designated protest spots by air to oversee the campaign and encourage workers.

The party led by former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala had asked the Centre and the Haryana government to make immediate announcement on construction of SYL canal and warned that otherwise the "situation in the state may turn bad".

The INLD also lashed out at the BJP-led Haryana government for trying to "scare" party workers by calling in paramilitary forces in the state, and accused the chief minister and his council of ministers of maintaining a "stoic silence" over the river water issue.

"We will not allow any vehicle from Punjab to enter Haryana even if we are lathi-charged or bullets are sprayed on us. We will block the roads completely. We do not care about bullets. We will not hesitate to sacrifice our lives," INLD general secretary and Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, Abhay Singh Chautala had said.

However, he said emergency service vehicles like ambulances will not be stopped during the agitation.

Notably, in February, several INLD leaders, including Chautala, were stopped from marching to Punjab to undertake the digging of the SYL canal.

Punjab has been maintaining that it does not have surplus water to share with Haryana.

Updated Date: Jul 09, 2017 21:56 PM

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