CHANDIGARH, India: The Punjab Government has urged the Sarkaria Commission to clearly lay down that riparian law shall be revoked to settle the interstate dispute over river water. This is one of the major additions made by the Punjab government in their last memorandum prepared by a team of officials which was placed on the table of the House during the Assembly Budget session. The memorandum as amended was to be submitted to the Commission at Delhi by a senior officer of the Punjab government.

Asenior minister told one reporter that the memorandum also contained a strong plea for amending the present system of granting licenses for setting up industries. The State government underlines the decentralization the existing system so that it may launch its own diversification plan.

The Akali Dal (L) also submitted memorandum to the Commission today. In a separate memorandum to the Commission, Mr. Surjit Singh Barnala who heads the party as well as the government said that the main thrust of the two memorandums was identical while the government memorandum was more detailed as it also deals with administrative matters, the ruling party memorandum deals with basic issues. The Akali Dal (L) memorandum appears to be repetition of Anandpur Sahib resolution so far as it concerns interstate relations. It has a more stringent tone and tenure than the one submitted on behalf of the government. The Barnala government’s insistence on revoking the riparian law to resolve interstate water dispute is significant in view of the reported rejection of their plea by the Eradi Commission. The State government is said to be upset over the Eradi Award over the distribution of river waters. Minis trial circles have been throwing a broad hint that the government might resist the Award if it is not suitably amended and is presented as a part of the package deal which it insists must contain release of an overwhelming majority of Jodhpur detainees. The government memorandum describes states as deliberately reorganized homelands and areas for religious and cultural groups. “These groups”, the memorandum maintains “are growing into distinct nationalities and their level of development varies from state to state, one ethnic group to another”.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 1, 1987