Centre to J&K: Suggest ways to fully tap rivers flowing into Pak

SRINAGAR:Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the Central government has sought a detailed report from Jammu and Kashmir to suggest ways and means for maximum exploitation of water of three large western rivers falling under the World Bank-brokered 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between the two countries.

Centre to J&K: Suggest ways to fully tap rivers flowing into Pak

The Indus flowing through Choglamsar in Leh. Tribune photo

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 27

Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the Central government has sought a detailed report from Jammu and Kashmir to suggest ways and means for maximum exploitation of water of three large western rivers falling under the World Bank-brokered 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between the two countries.

The Centre has asked the J&K Government to explain within one week the scope of enhanced power generation and irrigation from these rivers which flow into Pakistan through the state.

“We received a communication from the Union government on Monday evening to suggest widened scope for exploitation of rivers on which Pakistan has exclusive rights under the IWT,” a senior state government official told The Tribune.

The IWT, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan president Ayub Khan in September 1960, is a water-sharing mechanism to regulate the flow of the Indus and its five tributaries – Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej – between India and Pakistan.

Under the treaty, India received exclusive rights of use of waters from the Indus and its eastward-flowing tributaries Ravi, Beas and Sutlej before they enter Pakistan, whereas Pakistan has rights to three large western rivers that first flow through J&K — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.

Following the Uri attack that left 18 soldiers dead, New Delhi is weighing both military and non-military options to give a befitting response to Islamabad. To review the IWT, the Prime Minister on Monday chaired a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, the Water Resources Secretary and senior PMO officials in New Delhi. 

Following the meeting, the J&K Government was asked to submit the detailed report within a week, the official said. Under the IWT, an officials said J&K can’t store water on the main rivers but it can generate unlimited hydropower from run-of-the-river power plants, the officials said.

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