Chandigarh: The Union Minister for Commerce, Mr. Arjan Singh has claimed that the Punjab accord has not run into rough weather as is being suggested in certain quarters. Such conjectures, he said, are without any foundation. Mr. Arjan Singh said that he did not feel that the date set for the transfer of the territory, i.e. January 26, needed to be changed. Mr. Arjan Singh added that there is enough time to implement the accord within the stipulated period. Asked if he was still in touch with the leaders of Punjab and Haryana, he said, yes. Meanwhile Mr. Bhajan Lal Haryana Chief Minister and Mr. Sugit Singh Barnala have openly traded charges of sabotaging the accord. Mr. Bhajan Lal stated at Chandigarh that Haryana would not be bound by any decision of the accord until the project of Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal was completed. Mr. Bhajan Lal further asserted that even if Abohar and Fazilka were granted to Haryana by the Mathew Commission, the state government would not agree to the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab until the Canal was completed. Reacting to the statement the Punjab Chief Minister said that Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was in the picture and Mr. Bhajan Lal was no body to make such suggestions. Mr. Sujit Singh Barnala said that January 26 comes first and August 15 later. According to the accord, Chandigarh Union territory is to be transferred to Punjab on January 26, 1986 while the canal is to be built by August 15, 1986. Meanwhile dispute has arisen between Bhartiya Kisan Union and the Punjab government. The Punjab government has formed a two man committee headed by S. Rachpal Singh Gill, former chairman of the Punjab Electricity Board, to consider realigning the SYL canal along the Shivalak Hills. The BKU has boycotted the Committee saying that the terms of reference to the committee were not satisfactory.

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 27, 1985