Punjab Assembly condemns Himachal for water cess on hydro projects

March 22, 2023

Chandigarh, March 22 (Agency) : Asserting that water is a legitimate right as per riparian law, the Punjab Assembly, led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, on Wednesday condemned the act of Himachal Pradesh government to impose water cess on hydropower projects.

Endorsing the resolution passed by Water Resources Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer to condemn the move of Himachal Pradesh government, Mann said it is a major setback for the interests of Punjab and its people.

He said contrary to its name, Punjab (the land of five rivers) is today facing serious challenges in terms of potable water. He said the fresh move of the Himachal Pradesh government is a fresh attack on the waters of the state which cannot be tolerated.

The Chief Minister categorically said this move of the hill state's government is illegitimate and irrational. He said Punjab has legitimate right over the river waters and no one can snatch it from the state. The state will not pay even a single penny for the water flowing through its land.

He said this move of Congress government is aimed at dividing the country, adding this is not 'Bharat Jodo' but it is 'Bharat Todo' campaign. He also questioned the absence of the Congress leaders of Punjab from the Assembly when the state was deliberating a serious issue concerning the waters of the state.

Mann said these leaders have always backstabbed Punjab but the state government will leave no stone unturned to solve all the issues being confronted by Punjab.

He said this "shameless act" of the Himachal government has exposed that the Congress has several faces and they use these masks as per their political convenience. He said the Congress leaders make tall claims about federal structure but in real terms, they act as per their own political interests.

Mann said this time again the Congress has hatched a conspiracy to divest Punjab of its rights but this will not be allowed at any cost.

The Chief Minister advised the Himachal government to refrain from taking such steps which will dilute the powers of the states.

He said the Centre already wants a chance to meddle in the affairs of the states.

Highlighting the plight of state water, the Chief Minister said the majority of blocks in the state are in extreme dark zones due to depletion of groundwater.


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