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Get your own canal: Dhankar slams Kejriwal after Delhi CM interferes in Haryana-Punjab water wars

On Thursday Haryana's irrigation minister OP Dhankar wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying "he should get his own canal" after the chief minister took Punjab's side in a water canal dispute between the two states.

"Seeing your stand (opposing the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal in Punjab) Haryana will not be able to deliver your share of water in Delhi since you have stood against the interests of the farmers and people of Haryana," minister OP Dhankar said in the letter to Kejriwal.

On Wednesday, Punjab had returned a cheque of Rs 190 crore to Haryana. Punjab's politicians pledged that they would not allow a single drop of water from the River Sutlej to Haryana, in violation of historic treaties and carefully-configured agreements, reported NDTV. Punjab started filling up canal land with lose soil, to which Haryana government created an uproar.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court stopped Punjab from returning nearly 4,000 acres of land to farmers meant to be used for this canal, which enables sharing of water with Haryana, reported NDTV.

The Supreme Court has fixed the next hearing for 30 March.

Delhi's water troubles start with Kejriwal's statement

Supporting Punjab in its fight was Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, who opposed the construction of SYL canal in Punjab and said that the state does not have enough water to share with Haryana. Dhankar attacked the Delhi CM on Thursday and suggested to "get his own canal constructed for carrying Delhi's share of water".

"Seeing your stand (opposing the construction of SYL canal in Punjab) Haryana will not be able to deliver your share of water in Delhi since you have stood against the interests of the farmers and people of Haryana," he said in a letter to Kejriwal.

Dhankar termed Kejriwal's stand as "wrong" and alleged that he has opposed the proposed canal for gaining "political
benefits" in Punjab at a time when elections are round the corner.

"For Delhi's needs of water you may take the trouble of getting your own canal constructed from Nangal Dam and
Tajewala Headwork's (Yamunanagar) so that Delhi's share of water reaches the national capital with your efforts,"
Dhankar told the Delhi Chief Minister.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"You would be aware that from Ravi-Beas, Haryana was allocated 3.5 MAF (million acre-feet) and Delhi 0.2 MAF of water. Haryana gets Delhi's 0.2 MAF share through the Bhakra Main Line from Punjab which then, through Narwana Branch and Western Yamuna Canal systems, reaches Delhi," he wrote in the letter.

Besides, Haryana also transfers 330 cusec of Yamuna water through the Western Yamuna Canal to Delhi, he said.

He also said Haryana is not able to lift its share of 498 cusec of water.

"We have share of water in Ravi-Beas at Nangal Dam meant for Haryana and Delhi, but there is no channel to get this. And you have opposed the proposed SYL canal, through which water for Haryana and Delhi would have come," he said.

On Wednesday, Haryana Assembly had passed a resolution condemning the reported statement of Kejriwal, where the CM supported Punjab's decisions.

Many believe that if Punjab gets away with the filling up of canals with mud, to block the flow of water, it could set a dangerous precedent for other states of the country. This could threaten federal unity with inter-state battles for waters that ignore the law.

Political ties between Punjab and Haryana severed

With sharing of river waters becoming a bone of contention between these two states, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Thursday severed its ties with long-time ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

"Party's (INLD) alliance with Akalis has now ended as it has brought a Bill against the interests of Haryana," said
INLD Secretary General and Leader of Opposition in Haryana assembly Abhay Chautala, who is also younger son of jailed leader and former chief minister Om Parkash Chautala.

"We now do not have any relation with SAD in Punjab," he said announcing the breaking of the decades-old ties
between the two parties.

SAD has one MLA Balkaur Singh from Kalianwali assembly seat in Haryana.

"Because of the Bill (by which the owners whose land was acquired by government will be returned back to them),
there is a lot of anger against Punjab among Haryana people," he said.

"We have always considered Punjab as our elder brother but today they have betrayed us. Now the people of Haryana will have no faith in Punjab...They have ended the relationship between the two states," he said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 18, 2016 13:04 PM

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