New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Punjab government for its delayed approach towards the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
An apex court bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, C.T. Ravikumar, and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard the case regarding the ongoing dispute between Haryana and Punjab over the construction of SYL canal.
Punjab government's counsel expressed his predicament, citing pressures from the opposition parties and the land aquired by the farmers.
The apex court, in its order, has directed the Centre to look into the mediation process over the dispute and also carry out a survey on Punjab side to see the extent of construction made by the state.
In March, the court had directed the Centre to play a more active role in the resolution as the main arbitrator in the case.
Earlier on July 2020, the apex court had also asked the Chief Ministers of the two states to resolve the issue amicably.
The conflict dates back to a water-sharing agreement of 1981 after Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966.
The SYL canal once constructed will facilitate watersharing between the two states from the Ravi and Beas rivers. Punjab was opposed water sharingciting riparian principles.
It was agreed upon that both the states would construct their portions in the SYL canal.
In 2004, the Punjab government passed the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act (PTAA) cancelling the SYL agreement.
In 2016, the apex court struck down this unilateral law by the Punjab government.
The matter is listed for further hearing on January 2024.