The Punjab government on Tuesday decided to return the land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project to its original owners.
Amid raging controversy over the SYL verdict on water sharing between Punjab and Haryana, the Punjab Cabinet decided in ‘public interest’ that the land acquired for the project, which is presently vested in the Punjab government, stands denotified with immediate effect. The ownership of the land shall now vest in the original land owners or their lineal descendants or legal representatives, free of cost.
Punjab chief minister’s adviser on national affairs and media Harcharan Bains said the decision comes into immediate effect and necessary orders are being passed. The move is an attempt to block the pending construction work on the SYL canal. Once the ownership of the land changes from the government to individuals, it would be difficult for any central agency to execute the pending work.
In March, the Punjab legislature passed a bill to denotify land that was acquired by the government to construct the SYL canal. The link canal was planned decades ago to carry water from Ravi and Beas to Haryana and other areas. The bill was passed unanimously by the state assembly. It sought to return 3,928 acres of land free of cost to the original owners. Haryana had lodged its protest against Punjab’s move on the controversial issue.
Dh News Service