Chandigarh, October 11

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann will meet on October 14 to discuss the Sutlej-Yamuna (SYL) canal issue.

The discussion between the two chief ministers has been scheduled after the Supreme Court recently urged them to meet and try to find an amicable solution.

“We will definitely try to find a way to solve the problem,” Qatar told reporters here on Tuesday.

Last month, he said that SYL water is crucial for Haryana.

“On one hand, we are not getting this water, while on the other, Delhi is demanding more water from us.” “Fixing the deadline for the earliest resolution of the problem has become essential,” he said.

In Punjab, opposition parties recently asked Mann to champion the state’s cause on the issue.

The sharing of SYL canal water has been a bone of contention between the two states for decades.

Punjab has demanded revaluation of the water volume of the Ravi-Bes river, while Haryana has demanded the completion of the SYL canal to get its share of 3.5 million acre feet of the river’s waters.

The Center on September 6 informed the Supreme Court that the Punjab government was “not cooperating” in resolving the dispute.

Then the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the Supreme Court had in 2017 called for a compromise and was trying to bring the two states on the same page through his Ministry of Water Resources.

“Unfortunately, Punjab has not cooperated,” said a top law officer.

However, Punjab’s lawyer told a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul last month that the state government wants to resolve the issue peacefully.

Although talks are going on at the official level between the two states, the Center has insisted on meetings between the two chief ministers.

Venugopal said the bench may direct the Punjab council to ensure that the chief minister participates in discussions with his Haryana counterpart.

“The Attorney General rightly points out that the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana are requested and asked to meet and it has been agreed before us by the counsels present that such a meeting will be held during this month,” the bench said.

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