CHANDIGARH, July 19: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today ridiculed the Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal’s ignorance about the Hansi-Butana Canal and the construction of the concrete wall along the canal that will block the Ghaggar waters from going towards Haryana and flood a large area in Punjab. He said, “Hansi-Butana canal issue is pending in SC and the concrete wall has come up during last 8 months only and Akalis failed to take the cognisance of the matter until we did not point it out”.Referring to Mr Badal’s statement, Capt Amarinder remarked, “Sukhbir speaks out of his characteristic ignorance”. He said, construction of Hansi-Butana canal and the construction of the concrete wall along the canal that will block the flood waters of Ghaggar and push these towards Punjab are two entirely separate issues.
The former Chief Minister said, Sukhbir should know that Hansi-Butana canal is now part of the Presidential reference to the Supreme Court about water sharing between the two states of Punjab and Haryana. “Let me remind him that the Presidential reference to the SC was made following our government’s Repealing of All Water Sharing Agreements Act”, he pointed out, while adding, “when we passed an act that we are not going to provide anymore water to anyone where was the need to go for stay”.
He said, since Haryana was constructing the canal in its own territory Punjab could do little about it. “And also it was of little consequence since Punjab had already passed an act which ensured that no extra water was given to Haryana”, he said, while asking Sukhbir to update himself afresh on the issue.
Ridiculing Sukhbir’s charge, “for consistently and mischievously trying to mislead the people on the issue of construction of a concrete wall”, Capt Amarinder asked, “let people decide who is mischievous and misleading”.
He asked, what else could be more mischievous and more misleading than Sukhbir saying that the state government had “already sought stay from the Supreme Court on this particular issue (concrete wall) and the next hearing was on July 26”. Capt Amarinder pointed out, “the state government approached the SC only when we raised the issue”. Otherwise, he added, this government was sleeping.
By going to the Supreme Court, the state government had deliberately messed up the issue and got it mixed up with the Hansi-Butana canal. It should have rather gone to High Court treating and presenting the matter separately. “They are not doing it to deliberately get matter delayed so that people suffer and they make political capital out of it”, he remarked.