New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday reiterated the government’s stand to “stop” the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty, in the aftermath of the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed on February 14. Also Read - Sonam Wangchuk Calls China Violator of Human Rights in Tibet And Uighur, Reminds of 'Wallet Power'
“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 tweeted. Also Read - US Bans Pakistan International Airlines Flights After Pilot License Scandal
In another tweet, Gadkari said, “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.” Also Read - Coronavirus: India Reports First Spike of Over 25,000; 26,506 New Cases in Last 24 Hours
Officials said the actual implementation of the decision may take up to six years as dams as high as 100 metres will have to be built to stop flow of water.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh questioned the previous Congress governments for not taking such a step and termed the Centre’s decision as a correction of a long-standing anomaly. “The earlier governments have to answer why they sat over this (Shahpur-Kandi) project for nearly half a century. It (the decision to stop water going to Pakistan) is a correction of a long-standing anomaly which remained unattended by the earlier governments,” he told PTI.
Amid the demands for action against the neighbouring country in the wake of Pulwama attack, India has already decided to revoke the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan and mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate it in the international community.
Earlier on Wednesday, while addressing a public rally at Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, Gadkari had said, “We have started the work of purification of river Yamuna … After the formation of India and Pakistan, Pakistan got three rivers, and India got three rivers. The rightful water of our three rivers was flowing to Pakistan.” Adding further, he said, “Now we will build three projects on them, and divert the water to river Yamuna.”
According to the Indus Water Treaty, the Ravi, Sutlej, Beas was allocated to India whereas, the Jhelum, Chenab and Indus waters were allotted for Pakistan to utilise.
There were demands to stop flow of India’s share of Indus water to Pakistan after the Uri terror attack in 2016.