Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said that he will meet Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to discuss the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue on October 14.
The two chief ministers are meeting in a bid to resolve the issue after the Supreme Court had recently asked both to sit together and try to find an amicable solution.
We will definitely try to find a way to resolve the issue, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters on Tuesday.
Last month, he had said water from the SYL was crucial for Haryana.
“On the one hand, we are not getting this water, while on the other, Delhi is demanding more water from us. Fixing a deadline to resolve this issue at the earliest has become very essential,” he said.
In Punjab, opposition parties had recently asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to stand up for the state’s cause over the issue.
Water sharing from the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal has been a debate between the two states for several decades.
Punjab has been demanding a reassessment of the Ravi-Beas river waters’ volume while Haryana has been seeking completion of the SYL canal to get its share of 3.5 million acre-feet of the river waters.
The Centre on 6 September informed the Supreme Court that the Punjab government was “not cooperating” in resolving the dispute.
Then-Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had told the bench that the apex court had in 2017 called for an amicable settlement and that it was trying to bring the two states on the same page through its Water Resources Ministry.
“Unfortunately, Punjab has not been cooperating,” the top law officer had said.
However, the counsel for Punjab had last month told a bench headed by Justice S K Kaul that the state government was very keen to resolve the issue amicably.
Though official-level talks between the two states are on, the Centre has been insisting on meetings between the two chief ministers.
Venugopal had said the bench may direct the Punjab counsel to ensure that the chief minister participates in the discussions with his Haryana counterpart.
“Attorney General rightly points out that chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana were and are required to meet and it is agreed before us by the counsel present that such a meeting will be held within this month itself,” the bench had said.