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Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal running about 121 km in Punjab and 90 km in Haryana envisages conveying 3.45 MAF out of 3.5 MAF of Haryana’s average annual share of surplus Ravi-Beas waters ( as per 1981 agreement). It will irrigate an area of 4.46 lakh ha. in Haryana and also benefit Punjab in terms of irrigation to an area of 1.28 lakh ha. and in terms of power, a total of 50 MW of power generation at two power houses. Haryana portion of the canal is complete. Punjab portion of the canal was targeted for completion by March 1991. By July, 1990 when a major portion of the works had been completed, the works came to a standstill following the killing of the Chief Engineer and a Superintending Engineer of the project on 23.7.1990. As the works were not resumed, Government of Haryana filed Original Suit No. 6/ 1996 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India with a prayer for immediately restarting the work and completing the SYL Canal. Supreme Court delivered its judgement on 15.01.02 directing the State of Punjab to complete the canal within one year failing which, the Government of India to complete the canal as expeditiously as possible through its own agencies.

Govt. of Punjab filed an Original Suit No.1/2003 in the Supreme Court on 13.01.03 citing certain changed circumstances and praying for dissolution/discharge of the obligation to construct the canal. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement dated 4.6.2004, dismissed the suit filed by Punjab and directed the UoI to carry out its action plan for completion of the SYL canal within the specified time frame. In compliance, UoI nominated CPWD as the construction agency and also set up an empowered committee within the time frame specified. Govt. of Punjab was also requested to get in touch with CPWD to finalize the details of handing over/taking over of the canal works. After some initial response, the State of Punjab on 12.7.2004 enacted the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 terminating the Agreement dated 31.12.1981 and all other agreements related to Ravi Beas waters and protecting all existing and actual utilization through the existing systems. Govt. of Punjab on 13.07.04 also informed Ministry of Water Resources that any step taken in furtherance of the 31.12.1981 agreement would be against the legislative mandate of the Act.

A Presidential Reference in the matter related to constitutional validity of the Act was subsequently filed on 22.7.2004, on which the Hon’ble Supreme Court has rendered its opinion on 10.11.2016 and has held that PTAA, 2004 is not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Government of Haryana has filed an IA No. 6/2016 in Original Suit No. 6/ 1996 in the matter regarding the construction of Satluj Yamuna Link Canal and the same is pending in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.