Sidhu Moosewala’s first ever posthumous song, SYL, has officially been released on Youtube and other platforms. The song is all about SYL, as the title suggests. The audience might have also understood that Sidhu Moosewala is talking about the waters of Punjab in the song. But what actually is SYL and why is it so controversial?
SYL stands for Satluj-Yamuna-Link. It is a Link Canal project which would connect the Sutlej and the Yamuna rivers together. In other words, it is a canal that would allow water sharing between the states of Punjab and Haryana. The canal is currently under construction and is 214 kilometers long.
The water-sharing dispute between Punjab and Haryana dates back to 1966, when Haryana was carved out of Punjab. Haryana demanded a significant share from Punjab’s rivers while Punjab claimed the total quantity of the rivers. It was in 1976 that the Union government allocated water to Haryana and Delhi from the rivers that Punjab claimed to be theirs (Sutlej, Beas and Ravi).
The same year, 1976, Sutlej-Yamuna-Link was proposed. In 1977, Shiromani Akali Dal came to power and filed a lawsuit regarding the water-sharing among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in the Supreme Court. Under the same government, the construction of Sutlej-Yamuna-Link started for the first time.
The construction received a lot of criticism and protests, especially from the people of Punjab. In July 1990, the construction of the Canal Project had to be stopped after the chief engineers were murdered by Balwinder Singh Jattana and other Sikh leaders. What followed was political drama on the canal and finally the Supreme Court directed the Punjab Government to continue the canal’s construction in February, 2017.