THE HYDROLOGICAL CHAL­LENGE

India Today - - THE BIG STORY -

to al­most every project un­der­taken by India. “They are a one-river na­tion. If you stop the In­dus, there is noth­ing there,” says a former bu­reau­crat.

“If you try to stop the waters of Pak­istan, you will es­ca­late the con­flict to a very se­ri­ous level,” General Mushar­raf said, warn­ing of ‘nu­clear war’ in an in­ter­view to tele­vi­sion on Septem­ber 27.

Pak­istan is find­ing even the ex­ist­ing award of nearly 80 per cent of the In­dus waters in­suf­fi­cient. On March 8 this year, Pak­istan’s up­per house, the Se­nate, passed a res­o­lu­tion urg­ing the govern­ment to re­view the IWT by in­sert­ing new pro­vi­sions en­abling Pak­istan to get more wa­ter. A mi­nor re­duc­tion in the sup­ply of wa­ter to Pak­istan could have cat­a­strophic ef­fects on the agri­cul­ture-de­pen­dent coun­try.

Wa­ter para­noia has caused it to re­peat­edly chal­lenge even ‘run of the river’ dams al­lowed by the IWT and built by India. In the last such ver­dict in Jan­uary 2014, the Per­ma­nent Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion at The Hague ar­bi­trated in India’s fa­vor on the is­sue of the Kis­hanganga hy­dro­elec­tric power project near Bandi­pore in J&K.

“Our diplo­matic ini­tia­tive is to sep­a­rate the peo­ple of Pak­istan from je­hadi el­e­ments. Stop­ping wa­ter could prove counter-pro­duc­tive be­cause it will ac­tu­ally fan anti-India sen­ti­ment within Pak­istan,” says Ut­tam Ku­mar Sinha of the de­fence min­istry-run think-tank, the In­sti­tute of De­fence Stud­ies and Analy­ses (IDSA). If the govern­ment is to make good on its prom­ise of cre­at­ing mas­sive stor­age fa­cil­i­ties to store its share of the In­dus river, it will need to cre­ate roughly the equiv­a­lent of one-third of India’s largest reservoir, the Indi­rasagar on the Nar­mada (9.8 lakh acre feet). This prom­ises to be an up­hill task go­ing by the glacial pace of big dam con­struc­tion in India, the huge costs in­volved and the dis­place­ment of peo­ple. Ex­perts say it will be at least a decade be­fore so­lu­tions like the com­ple­tion of the three dams on Chenab bear fruit.

Agri­cul­tural econ­o­mist Sucha Singh Gill from the Chandi­garh-based

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.