Reason Behind SYL Canal Dispute

SYL canal connects the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. This canal is built between Sutlej and Yamuna rivers for the purpose of providing water to the farmers of Haryana from the Punjab side. Its total length is about 495 km including the sub-canals. This foundation was laid by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. At that time Darbara Singh was the chief minister of Punjab. On 29 Jan 1955, this agreement was signed for water utilization of Ravi and Beas. In September 1960, Pakistan & India agreed on the terms of sharing the water of Sutlej and signs Indus water treaty.

Center Government issued the notifications to build Sutlej-Yamuna link canal (SYL). Haryana constructed 90 percent of the Sutlej Yamuna Link of the canal on its part & 10 percent was ordered to Punjab to finish, but Punjab was not ready to construct its part. The Supreme Court has directed the Punjab government for the purpose of completing the construction of the SYL canal. Central government and Haryana has also given the pressure to Punjab for building the canal of their side but they were not ready to begin the construction as it was against to the interests of Punjab & here ` aroused.

In 1985, Akali Dal president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has signed ‘Settlement Accord’ to begin the construction. Construction began but it was very slow and delayed frequently. Then in 2004, this matter heated when the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh dismissed the contracts for water sharing with its neighbor states and till now this matter is under Supreme Court of India.

The reason behind SYL canal dispute is that Punjab has signed a treaty with Rajasthan ‘Indira Canal’. The water of Bhakra Dam is also supplied to Haryana through 2 canals which are flowing from Punjab. In this situation, Punjab is left with less water. The Yamuna is the part of Punjab. Haryana claims that they have the equal share of Sutlej River. However, as per Punjab they have more cultivation land as compared to Haryana & the water which is shared by Punjab to Haryana is far more than that of Punjab and they deserve the water of Yamuna.


SAD, AAP & Punjab Congress is against to this construction whereas BJP is silent regarding this matter. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said regarding this dispute that he was against of SYL canal as Punjab has not sufficient water to share it with Haryana. Moreover, Haryana’s Irrigation Minister Om Prakash Dhankar has asked Delhi Government for the purpose of constructing a separate canal from Nangal Nam in Punjab to the Capital.  Central government should need to give its consideration on SYL canal dispute seriously to resolve the issue between these two states.

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