Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s controversial remark that he is opposed to the construction of the SYL canal in Punjab as it has no water to spare for other states, has irked neighbouring Haryana so much that it now threatens to cut its water supply to the national capital. Replying to a media query during his visit to Punjab this week, Kejriwal, who hopes his party will have a very good performance in the poll bound state, said he is against the construction of the canal, which will supply water to Haryana. Kejriwal’s comment is believed to be politically motivated. Kejriwal, who belongs to Haryana, is under attack from both the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress, both of whom have been trying to project him as an outsider in Punjab, urging people not to vote for his Aam Aadmi Party since the AAP leader belongs to Haryana, which has conflicting interest with Punjab on many issues.
Following Kejriwal’s coment on SYL, Haryana minister Anil Vij tweeted: “Kejriwal says Punjab has no water to spare for SYL to Haryana. If we say we also have no water to spare for Delhi, what will Kejriwal do?” Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar wrote to the Delhi CM and threatened him of stopping water supply to Delhi. He asked him to get his own canal constructed for carrying Delhi’s share of water.
“Seeing your stand, Haryana will not be able to deliver your share of water in Delhi since you have stood against the interests of the farmers and people of Haryana,” he wrote. Haryana provides 0.2 million acre-feet water to Delhi by its main line canal, which reaches Delhi through the Narwana branch of the West Yamuna canal system, Dhankar pointed out.
While the Delhi government was dismissive of the letter, Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar clarified that Haryana has no plans to stop water supply to the national capital.