On October 4, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to look into the mediation process over the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal dispute. Meanwhile, the Apex court also came down heavily on the Punjab Government over their approach to the issue.
A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul CT Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia remarks came while hearing a matter relating to the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal dispute.
The court came down heavily on the Punjab Government for not taking steps for construction of the canal. The court remarked that Punjab has to co-operate in the process. The court directed the Centre to survey the portion of the land allocated to Punjab. The court also directed the Centre to look into the mediation process. The court listed the matter for further in January 2024.
The apex court was hearing SYL Canal dispute between Haryana and Punjab.
On July 28, 2020, the top court had asked the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana to make attempt to resolve the issue amicably.
The problem stems from the controversial 1981 water-sharing agreement after Haryana was formed out of Punjab in 1966. For effective allocation of water, the SYL canal was to be constructed and the two states were required to construct their portions within their territories.
While Haryana constructed its portion of the canal, after the initial phase, Punjab stopped the work, leading to multiple cases.
In 2004, Punjab government had passed a law unilaterally cancelled the SYL agreement and other such pacts, however, in 2016, the apex court had struck down this law. Later, Punjab went ahead and returned the acquired land–on which the canal was to be constructed–to the landowners.
(with inputs from ANI)