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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Negotiate political settlement of SYL dispute, SC tells Punjab, Haryana CMs

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28

The Supreme Court today asked the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana to attempt a negotiated settlement of the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal issue that has defied any solution for decades despite several rounds of litigation.

A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said talks should be held between the two states at the highest political level. Stating that the Centre had been trying to facilitate talks between the two sides, Attorney General KK Venugopal requested the top court to give more time for the purpose.

The Bench — which wanted the two states to clearly tell it if they could solve it through negotiations or not — indicated the matter would be taken up in the third week of August.

Punjab has been demanding a negotiated settlement between the two states with the help of the Centre, while Haryana maintains it can't be made to wait indefinitely despite having a decree in its favour. The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has already convened several meetings — attended by chief secretaries of the two states — which remained inconclusive.

The Supreme Court had earlier told the Centre, Punjab and Haryana to conclude their talks on the construction of SYL canal "as soon as it can be". Else, it would proceed to decide the matter, it had said.

The scrapped 1981 water-sharing pact

1981: Punjab, Haryana sign a water-sharing agreement

2004: The Congress government in Punjab terminates agreement

2016: SC declares law passed by Punjab House unconstitutional

2017: Punjab returns the SYL canal land to landowners

from The Tribune

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