Chandigarh, Apr 5 (PTI) Punjab and Haryana may have sparred over the claim to Chandigarh but they appeared to be on the same page on the issue of change in rules for the selection criteria of top officials of the Bhakra Beas Management Board.
The Haryana Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution stating that the recent amendment to the BBMB rules by the Centre for appointment of whole-time members goes against the spirit of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, which treats river projects as common assets.
The Haryana government had summoned the one-day Assembly session just days after the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution seeking immediate transfer of Chandigarh to the Aam Aadmi Party-run state.
The resolution passed by the Haryana Assembly also sought the completion of the SYL canal and the transfer of Hindi-speaking areas from Punjab while criticising neighbouring state for staking claim over Chandigarh.
The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Khattar told the House on Tuesday said that he had written to the Centre after the change in the rules, registering the state’s objection and demanded that the previous system be restored.
Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda also raised the BBMB issue in the House, and said,”Interests of Haryana will not be safe with the new rules and the Haryana government should also oppose this.” The Centre had earlier changed rules for the selection criteria of BBMB members.
The BBMB, which is a statutory body under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 and manages water resources of the Sutlej and Beas, has a whole-time chairman and two members–member (irrigation) and member (power).
According to the convention, the member (power) is always from Punjab and member (irrigation) is from Haryana and they are selected from a panel of senior engineers. But the changes in the rules allowed anyone to apply for these posts.
The resolution, which was passed by the Punjab Assembly on April 1, had asked the Centre to honour the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution and not to take any steps which may disturb the balance of the administration of Chandigarh and that of other common assets like the BBMB.
“The central government has advertised the posts of members of BBMB to officers of all states and central government, whereas these posts were traditionally filled up by officers from Punjab and Haryana,” Punjab’s resolution had said.
On the issue of proportion of officials serving in the Chandigarh administration, the Haryana assembly on Tuesday noted with concern that the share of officers on deputation from the government to Haryana to the administration of the union territory of Chandigarh has been reducing over the years.
“The House also urges the central government to ensure that the proportion earmarked for officers from the government of Haryana to serve in the administration of the union territory of Chandigarh is continued in the same proportion as when the reorganisation of Punjab was envisaged.
Punjab and Haryana have a 60:40 ratio in the posting of employees in Chandigarh. PTI CHS SUN RDK RDK
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Source: The Print