Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (SARYU) or SYL as it is popularly known is a proposed 214-kilometer (133 mi) long canal in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. However, the proposal met obstacles and was referred to the Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court on Thursday cracked the whip on attempts to politicize the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project and directed the Punjab government to maintain status quo on land for the canal
The issue dates back to the time of partition when waters of undivided India were divided. Present day Punjab which got 15 million acre feet initially as its part is now left with 3.5 million acre feet after states were divided on linguistic basis and through other dividing mechanisms. With tube waters coming down and severe water scarcity in both the states the issue has come to lime light in recent times.
Why is Punjab against the SYL canal?
Punjab says that the SYL share of water to Haryana was based on 1920 data and now the situation has radically changed.
What is Haryana’s argument?
Haryana claims to be a water-deficit state and has said that it has been deprived of more than half of its legitimate share of 3.50 MAF in surplus Ravi-Beas water, which has resulted in a reduction in agriculture production.
With Punjab using 75% of its water through tube wells and only 25% by canals, it can devolve effective water management techniques so that chunk of water goes to Haryana which is more dependent on canal irrigation.
Need for politicians to give up politics and show statesmanship attitude so that consensus is arrived as soon as possible.
Need to review the rehabilitation of those people displaced due to SYL canal, perhaps through providing alternative employment, and ensuring higher penetration of skill based programmes etc.
The court has said that if the Punjab government did not comply with its orders, the centre should expedite the construction of the canal using its constitutional powers
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