Union Minister for water resources, Nitin Gadkari has said that water from three Indian rivers will be used to nurture the Yamuna project. India has been generous towards Pakistan for decades regarding the use of water of the Indus river system. But Pakistan’s ill-advised actions like the Pulwama attack have forced the Indian leadership to deal strictly with them. “When India and Pakistan were divided, three rivers have been given to Pakistan and three to India. But India continuously gave the water supply to Pakistan, but now we will use that water to nurture Yamuna with 3 different projects and we will give that water supply for the Yamuna project,” said Gadkari. The three projects include the construction of two dams- Ujh dam and Shahpur Kandi dam and the Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab.
BIG STATEMENT: 'Water flowing to Pakistan will now be used to nurture Yamuna,' says union minister Nitin Gadkari in another step to corner Pakhttps://t.co/Ce9or9J28L
— Republic (@republic) February 21, 2019
Following the Uri attack, the decision was taken to speed up three projects on the rivers under Indian control. Now the water of these rivers will also be used to save and nurture the Yamuna. “There are several projects going on to save and nurture the Yamuna river, and we will use that water to purify Yamuna and we are focusing on Yamuna,” added Gadkari. Eleven projects have been taken under the Namami Gange Programme by the National Mission for Clean Ganga for the conservation of the Yamuna in Delhi.
Following the Uri attack 2016, government constituted a high-level task force led by principal secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Mishra, NSA Ajit Doval, foreign secretary Jaishankar and finance secretary Ashok Lavasa as members to better utilize India’s share of the Indus river system without scrapping the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). As per the IWT, control over the water flowing in three eastern rivers of India- the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej rivers with the mean flow of 33 MAF was given to India, and the control over the water flowing in the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum rivers with the mean flow of 80 MAF has been given to Pakistan. India has been using only 20 percent of the total water carried by the Indus rivers system in a non-consumptive manner while Pakistan makes use of the remaining 80 percent. However, previous Indian governments never used even that 20 percent of the share and allowed Pakistan to make full use of it. “India uses nearly 93-94 per cent of its share under the Indus Waters Treaty. The rest of the water remains unutilized and goes to Pakistan,” an official said.
The decision to speed up the process of effectively utilizing the Indian part of the river system was taken after the Uri attacks. The water treaty was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 and since then, despite the treaty being in favour of Pakistan, India has maintained an uninterrupted flow of Pakistan’s share of water. In fact, India never used its own share of the Indus river water and as a result it flowed down to the other side. This helped the agricultural economy of Pakistan to prosper. Both the countries have fought three full-fledged wars since the signing of the IWT with India getting enough opportunities to starve the people of Pakistan by diverging the Indus waters but it maintained restraint. the UPA government maintained a soft approach towards Pakistan but the Modi government is well aware of the fact that nations like Pakistan cannot be dealt without tough measures.
After the Uri attacks, the government decided to use IWT as a weapon against Pakistan. The government is set to construct dams across the Indian part of the river and will make full use of its own share which Pakistan has been doing for long. The country is working on five ambitious hydroelectricity projects – Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW). These are either to be built or planned in the Indus river basin in order to make full use of the Indus river basin. This will contribute in the socio-economic upliftment of the people of the region. Ujh dam, Shahpur Kandi dam and Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab are other projects by India to achieve its goals.