A day after threatening to block Pakistan’s water supply, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the Centre was planning to build projects on three rivers flowing into the belligerent neighbour, to divert water towards Yamuna.
“Our government 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,” ANI quoted Gadkari as saying.
“(Pakistan PM) Imran Khan and others in that country are saying: how can India stop water to them? Remember, if you continue to support and export terrorism to India, Pakistan won’t get even a drop of water. Remember this,” Gadkari said.
“As per the treaty, of the six rivers between Pakistan and India, Pakistan got three rivers and India got three. The water which was ours was also going into Pakistan. We are making three projects under which water which is ours by right will be given to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan,” he said.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, India shares water of the Beas and Sutlej rivers with Pakistan.
“The Indus accord says it was signed to maintain harmony, peace and brotherhood between the two nations. But today, when we think of this accord, we feel where is that harmonious relationship, where is that friendship, where has our cooperation and coordination gone,” the minister said.
“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,” Gadkari later tweeted to confirm the upcoming projects.
“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’” the tweet continued.
India’s share of water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers came to 33 million acres feet (MAF). While about 95 per cent of the water was being used in the country after the construction of three main dams across the rivers, close to 5 percent water or 1.6 MAF would flow to Pakistan.
A largely agriculture-based Pakistan economy is dependent on the water flow of the three rivers through Kashmir.