Prime Minister Narendra Modi's earlier assertions that "water and blood cannot flow together" has finally found ground as the government has decided to deny 5-10 per cent of the unused water from the three eastern rivers - Ravi Satluj and Beas - to Pakistan.
The decision comes in the wake of one of the deadliest strikes on security personnel which led to the death of 44 CRPF soldiers.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari took to Twitter to announce the government's decision of stopping its share of water which used to flow to Pakistan.
The minister said that the water would be instead used by Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
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.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 21, 2019
The government stated that it has already given a nod to the construction of three dam projects, which will divert the flow of water and store it as well.
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. — Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 21, 2019
What is Indus Water Treaty and how would Pakistan be affected?
India and Pakistan are a signatory to the Indus Water Treaty, which was signed in 1960 under the watch of the World Bank. Under IWT, Pakistan got the share of water from the three western rivers, Jhelum, Chenab and Indus, whereas India got its share from the three eastern rivers - Satluj, Beas and Ravi.
Even as India and Pakistan have fought a few wars since the IWT was signed and there have been hostilities between the two neighbours, the IWT has not suffered any setback, nor did India ever divert/ stop the flow of its 5-10 per cent of the unused water to Pakistan.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has a huge problem of water scarcity, which is expected to become more grave in the coming years in the wake of increasing population, inadequate hydroelectric infrastructure, poor dam construction and insufficient storage capacities.
Under, IWT, India is supposed to use, 20 per cent of the unused water of the rivers, however, it uses only 10-15 per cent and the rest flows to Pakistan.
Although the construction of the dams by the Indian government will not break the IWT, it will definitely compound the water woes of Pakistan.