Chandigarh, Jul 8: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday made out a strong case for making Chandigarh the capital of Punjab and remittance of all resources and revenues collected from the Union Territory to Punjab besides payment of royalty for use of its water resources.
In a forceful speech during the general discussion on the Union Budget in Parliament, the SAD president, who also represents Ferozepur parliamentary constituency, said not only did the Centre’s promise for making Chandigarh the capital of Punjab remain unfulfilled till now, but the parent State was also denied the revenue and resources generated by Chandigarh.
Capital cities were force multipliers, he said, adding the amount of revenue a State capital could generate was phenomenal. “Look at Mumbai. It is generating so much revenue for Maharashtra that without it the parent State would suffer an imminent financial crisis”.
The SAD president also urged that Punjab be paid royalty by Rajasthan which was availing of its water resources.
“As compared to 80 per cent water blocks which have been overexploited in Punjab, in Rajasthan 71 per cent of water blocks have been overexploited,” he said.
In the last ten years despite six deficient monsoons, Punjab farmers had increased productivity of paddy and wheat, however the state’s only resource “water” became depleted, Badal said. This resource should be given same importance like for coal, iron ore and gas.
About the problems being faced by border farmers whose lands are situated along the Pakistan border in no man’s land, Badal said those tilling 17,000 acres did not have freedom to tend to their crops or irrigate them. (UNI)