SC allows Centre to hold meeting to resolve Satluj-Yamuna Link canal

SC allows Centre to hold meeting to resolve Satluj-Yamuna Link canal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Union government to hold a meeting of all stake-holders with regard to construction of Satluj-Yamuna link canal on April 20.
 
“We do not want to shut the door to an amicable solution...it (the matter) is question of an execution of the decree passed by this court. It is in the interest of everyone,” a bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said.
 
The court posted the plea made by the Haryana for execution of the decree of the apex court on construction of the canal for consideration on April 27.
 
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that a meeting has been organised on April 20 at the highest level. “The Union government is trying to find out the solution,” he said.
 
“If it is not settled (between the parties), we will continue to hold the hearing,” the bench said on a plea by Haryana, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan, that the matter should be heard by the court.
 
The meeting has been called on April 20 after Punjab chief minister Capt Amrinder Singh has raised “certain issues” on Ravi Beas waters with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a memorandum. It would discuss the issues for “equitable and optimal utilisation of precious resources” and to “facilitate amicable resolution of the issue”.
 
The Punjab government, represented by senior advocates Ram Jethmalani and R S Suri had earlier insisted for the Union government to play the role of an arbitrator to resolve its dispute with Haryana on constructing 214-km long canal to link Satluj and Yamuna rivers.
 
Haryana had pressed for direction to digging of the canal as there have been directions in its favour by the apex court in 2002 and 2004. In response to Presidential reference, a Constitution Bench had on November 10 held that Punjab could not have taken a “unilateral” decision to terminate the agreement with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh on sharing of the Ravi-Beas river waters.
 
The apex court had subsequently directed for maintaining status quo on properties of the Satluj-Yamuna link canal. It had also ordered both Punjab and Haryana to maintain law and order.

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