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Spice of the Month
- GS2 || International relations || India and it’s neighbours || Pakistan
Why in news ?
- In response to Pulwama terror attack, the Centre has decided to stop India’s share of water that used to flow to Pakistan. The government would divert water from eastern rivers to Jammu and Kashmir.
- The government’s decision will not impact Pakistan’s share of water under the Indus Water Treaty between the two nations.
River sharing between India and Pakistan:
- The sharing of water of the six rivers– Indus, Chenab, Jhelum, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej– between India and Pakistan is governed by a treaty the two countries signed in 1960. The deal was brokered by the World Bank after nine years of negotiation.
- Under the treaty, India has control over water flowing in the eastern rivers– Beas, Ravi and Sutlej. Pakistan has control over the western rivers– Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
- As per the treaty, the water commissioners of Pakistan and India are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works. Both the sides share details of the water flow and the quantum of water being used under the treaty.
- The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers.
- Of the total 168 million acre-feet, India’s share of water from the three allotted rivers is 33 million acre-feet, which constitutes nearly 20 per cent. India uses nearly 93-94 per cent of its share under the Indus Waters Treaty. The rest of the water remains unutilised and goes to Pakistan.
Projects proposed to utilize the unutilised water:
- After the Uri attack in 2016, India has fast-tracked water projects to arrest the unutilised water.
- The three projects include the Shahpur-Kandi dam project, a second Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab and the UJH Dam project in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Of the total 168 million acre-feet, India’s share of water from the three rivers is 33 million acre-feet, which constitutes nearly 20 per cent. India uses nearly 93-94 per cent of its share under the Indus Waters Treaty.The rest of the water remains unutilised and flows to Pakistan. This is the water that India has decided to stop.
Impact of this on pakistan :
- 80% of Pakistan’s 21.5 million hectares of farmland is irrigated by river Indus and its tributaries.
- Reducing the water flow to Pakistan will unleash havoc there (especially in Punjab and Sindh province).