The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to vacate its Aug 17, 2007 order restraining Haryana from breaching the Bhakra Main Line (BML) canal and connecting it with its intra-state Hansi-Butana canal to draw part of its share of the Ravi-Beas waters.
“Stay is there for six years. Why should we disturb it now,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam as senior counsel Vinod Bobde pressed for an early hearing of Haryana’s application.
“If you insist we will list the application in the first week of March but order will be the same,” Chief Justice Sathasivam said as Bobde urged the court to hear the application.
The court said the matter would proceed only after evidence was led before the registrar and both the parties (Punjab and Haryana) will have to co-operate. “We will ask the registrar to hold the expeditious hearing to record submission by all the parties,” the court said declining to vacate its stay.
Haryana told the court that if it was not inclined to lift its stay, then the state may be permitted to draw part of its share of Ravi-Beas waters from BML by siphoning through pipes. This would take care of its requirement of water without interfering with the stay on rupturing the BML, it argued.
The application said the Hansi and Butana branches of the multipurpose channel were executed to correct the gross irrigation imbalance within the state and to bring much needed drinking and irrigation waters to the dry, arid, parched and drought prone areas of southern Haryana where annual irrigation intensity is as low as 8 percent.
Haryana contended that both Punjab and Rajasthan could not have any grievance as it was drawing only part of its share of water and it did not affect their quantum of water.