India to stop its share of water flowing to Pakistan
22 February 2019
The union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday decided to block the flow of India’s share of the waters of the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej to Pakistan and instead improve availability of river water in Kashmir and adjoining Punjab, union minister for water resources Nitin Gadkari said.
Earlier, addressing BJP workers during party’s national executive meet at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on 12 January, Gadkari said the government will build projects on three rivers to divert water flowing into Pakistan, in order to improve availability of water in the Yamuna.
He said the government is working on a project to divert water from three rivers flowing into Pakistan from India. He said both the countries hold the right to use water flowing in three rivers each under the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960. But India has not utilised river waters it is permitted to use under the agreement, he added.
“After formation of India and Pakistan, India and Pakistan got the right to use waters in three rivers each. The water from our three rivers is going to Pakistan. Now, we are planning to build a project and divert the water from these three rivers into the Yamuna. Once this happens, Yamuna will have more water,” news agency ANI quoted Nitin Gadkari as saying at a public event in Bhagalpur, in Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday.
On Thursday evening, Gadkari took to Twitter to say that all the three projects have been declared as national projects. “Under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Sri @narendramodi ji, Our Govt. has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab,” the minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation wrote on the microblogging site.
“The construction of dam has started at Shahpur - Kandi on Ravi river. Moreover, UJH project will store our share of water for use in J&K and the balance water will flow from 2nd Ravi-BEAS Link to provide water to other basin states,” Gadkari said in another tweet.
Gadkari’s comment could be part of India plans to mount pressure on Pakistan in the wake of a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama last week. At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in the attack, for which Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility.
India revoked the most favoured nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan in 1996 and also hiked tariff on imports from Pakistan by 200 per cent.
As per the Indus Waters Treaty, subject to certain conditions, India has the right to use water flowing in eastern rivers, namely, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan controls the right to use water in western rivers, namely, the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab.