Fearing possible law and order problems after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue, the Haryana Transport Department today suspended services to several destinations in Punjab as a “precautionary measure”. Services were suspended after the Haryana Transport Department issued directions to all bus depots in the state to take necessary steps after assessing the situation for safety of their buses.
Bus services remained suspended on several routes, including those to Ludhiana and Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Transport Department officials said. “Bus services to Ludhiana and Katra were suspended this morning,” said Ran Singh Punia, who is posted at the Haryana Roadways Depot in Jind district. Buses from Punjab also did not arrive at Jind, he informed.
Bus services were suspended from Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Yamuna Nagar, Kaithal and Ambala depots, officials said. “The decision to suspend bus services on routes to Punjab was taken yesterday,” an official posted at the Ambala Roadways Depot said.
However, officials said bus services on some routes to Punjab were restored in the evening. There were no reports of any damage to buses, they said.
Meanwhile, PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) at Patiala in Punjab said their bus operations on Haryana routes remained normal. “No bus service (to Haryana) was suspended,” PRTC Managing Director Ravinder Singh said.
The situation comes after the Punjab government following the apex court’s verdict refused to share water while neighbouring states, like Haryana, have expressed commitment to get their rightful share from the Ravi-Beas rivers.
In a special session of the Haryana Assembly that was convened on November 3, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had warned Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that power supply and truck movement to the state would be stopped if water was not shared.
The water dispute assumed a new dimension with the Supreme Court yesterday holding as “unconstitutional” the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement with neighbouring states.