SYL (Sutlej Yamuna Link) canal dispute took another dimension when the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution asking for royalty payment on Satluj-Yamuna river water from its neighbouring states, including Rajasthan. To this, the state government has refused to pay any royalty amount on the basis of the 1981 agreement among the regions.
In accordance with the 1981 agreement, drawn under the rule of Indian National Congress, the share of water among all three states, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan was revised. As per the agreement, the total share of Punjab was raised to 4.22 MAF, for Rajasthan it was raised to 8.6 MAF and Haryana had its same share of 17.17 MAF.
Considering this legal agreement, CM Vasundhara Raje has had many discussions with Ms. Uma Bharati (Union Minister for Water Resources and River Development) in past. She highlighted the issue regarding the share of water from Sutlej-Beas rivers. Considering the water scarcity issues, she requested Ms Bharati to issue necessary directions to Punjab state regarding the water supply.
Since, Punjab government has the executive and legislative right on the property, it demanded for the royalty money from its neighbouring states as a reciprocation.
As the agreement does not indicate any such clause, Rajasthan government has denied the payment of any royalty amount. Rajasthan Irrigation Minister, Ram Pratap clarified the fact that, the state does not owe any monetary amount to Punjab. Royalty on river waters is out of the question.
Mr. Pratap also mentioned that, Rajasthan is using its set share of water and is not liable to pay even a single penny.
Also, the parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Mohan Mittal came up with the fact that, demand of royalty money for river water is not a new thing. Back in the years of 1945-46, Punjab has received the royalty amount from the Bikaner, Nabha and Jind as well.
As per the agreement, the request for royalty money by Punjab government does not have any legal consolidation. Hence, in the eyes of law, demand of royalty for river waters is totally a vain appeal. Rajasthan government has always come up with commendatory solutions to the state problems. Hence, we are looking forward for a similar favourable solution for this issue of water war.