Punjab and Haryana on Friday sparred over a proposed central water disputes tribunal, at the National Water Resources Council meet here.
While Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal opposed the move to set up a permanent central water authority saying it would infringe on the rights of the state, his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda welcomed it.
Being an agrarian state, Punjab was opposed to the concept of integrated planning and management of river basins and setting up of basin authorities by legislation, the senior Akali leader said.
“This is one of the many areas where our decision makers in New Delhi must show greater sensitivity in statesmanship and farsightedness in handling critical issues such as water,” he said.
Hooda rejected Badal’s suggestion that the neighbouring states should share the flood management costs.
He also alleged Punjab had enacted a law terminating water-related agreements and the Centre had allowed the presidential reference on it to linger on for more than eight years.
Haryana hasn’t got its share either from the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal despite Supreme Court orders or from Ravi-Beas waters as the tribunal’s final award has not been published.
Hooda hailed the setting up of a permanent water disputes tribunal at the Centre but sought the timely implementation of orders of various tribunals and courts.
He also welcomed the proposal to constitute river basin authorities and water regulatory authorities to manage disputes between the states.