Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Mehghwal on Sunday said in Bikaner, Rajasthan, that India had stopped water of three eastern rivers flowing to Pakistan. The decision, announced by the Minister, came in the wake of the Pulwama suicide bombing attack in which over 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Speaking to media, Meghwal, said that water of 0.53 million acre-feet of eastern rivers, which was flowing into Pakistan, had been stopped and it could be used for drinking and irrigation purposes. "0.53 million acre-feet water has been stopped from going to Pakistan and has been stored. Whenever Rajasthan or Punjab needs it, that water can be used for drinking and irrigation purposes," he said.
The decision by the Modi government does not violate the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 as New Delhi is entitled to stop the flow of its share of water from the three eastern rivers - Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej - to Islamabad.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, India shares water of the Beas and Sutlej rivers with Pakistan.In the year 1960, India and Pakistan had signed one of the most liberal water distribution agreements to use the water available in the Indus system of rivers originating in India. The Indus Waters Treaty was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan.
According to the treaty, all the waters of the three eastern rivers, averaging around 33 million acre-feet (MAF), were allocated to India for exclusive use, while the waters of the western rivers - Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab - averaging to around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan.
Last month, the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had threatened to choke Pakistan's water supply by building projects on three rivers flowing into the belligerent neighbour.
"Three of our rivers have been flowing into Pakistan. So water which we rightfully owned was going into Pakistan. Now we are planning to create a project and divert the waters of these three rivers to the Yamuna. So you can understand that there will be enough water in the Yamuna," Gadkari had said.
After the Pulwama attack, not only has India tried to stifle Pakistan by courting global support to declare it a terror monger, but the Modi government has also made efforts to cripple its economy by increasing duties on essential products.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar