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International Relations

Indus Waters Treaty 1960

  • 23 Feb 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently the Union Water Resources Minister has said that the government under the Indus Water Treaty 1960, has decided to stop its share of water which earlier used to flow to Pakistan.

Indus Waters Treaty

  • The Indus system comprises of main Indus River, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.
  • Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of three rivers, namely Ravi,Sutlej and Beas ( Eastern Rivers) were allocated to India for exclusive use.
  • While, the waters of Western rivers - Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan except for specified domestic , non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India as provided in the Treaty.
  • India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run of the river(RoR) projects on the Western Rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation is unrestricted.

Present Developments

  • To utilize the waters of the Eastern rivers which have been allocated to India for exclusive use, India has constructed following dams:
    • Bhakra Dam on Satluj,
    • Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and
    • Thein (Ranjit Sagar) on Ravi.
  • Other works like Beas-Sutlej Link, Madhopur-Beas Link, Indira Gandhi Nahar Project etc has helped India utilize nearly entire share (95 %) of waters of Eastern rivers.
  • However, about 2 Million Acre Feet (MAF) of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilized to Pakistan below Madhopur.
  • To stop the flow of these waters that belong to India for its utilization in India, following steps have been taken:
    • Shahpurkandi Project: This project will help in utilizing the waters coming out from powerhouse of Thein dam for irrigation and power generation in J&K and Punjab. The construction work is being undertaken by the Govt of Punjab under monitoring of Govt of India.
    • Construction of Ujh multipurpose project:This project will create a storage of water on river Ujh , a tributary of Ravi for irrigation and power generation in India. This project is a National Project whose completion period will be 6 years from beginning of the implementation.
    • The 2nd Ravi Beas link below Ujh:This project is being planned to tap excess water flowing down to Pakistan through river Ravi, even after construction of Thein Dam, by constructing a barrage across river Ravi for diverting water through a tunnel link to Beas basin. Govt. of India declared this project as National Project .
  • The above three projects will help India to utilize its entire share of waters given under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
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