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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Will stop our share of water to Pak, says Nitin Gadkari a week after Pulwama attack

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said the government will build projects on three rivers to divert water flowing into Pakistan.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2019 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindutan Times, Baghpat/New Delhi
Union minister Nitin Gadkari addressing BJP workers during party’s national executive meet at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on January 12, 2019. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Union minister Nitin Gadkari addressing BJP workers during party’s national executive meet at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on January 12, 2019. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)(Sanchit Khanna/HT file photo )

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said the government is working on project to divert water from three rivers flowing into Pakistan from India in order to improve availability of water in the Yamuna. He said both the countries hold the right to use water flowing in three rivers each under the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960. But India has not utilised river waters it is permitted to use under the agreement, he said.

“After formation of India and Pakistan, India and Pakistan got the right to use waters in three rivers each. The water from our three rivers is going to Pakistan. Now, we are planning to build a project and divert the water from these three rivers into Yamuna river. Once this happens, Yamuna will have more water,” news agency ANI quotes Nitin Gadkari as saying at a public event in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat on Wednesday.

Watch: Post Pulwama, Gadkari talks of diverting water from 3 rivers back to India

On Thursday evening, Gadkari took to Twitter to say that all the three projects have been declared as national projects. “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,” the minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation wrote on the microblogging site.

Also Read | Paramilitary jawans deployed in Kashmir allowed air travel; govt issues order after Pulwama attack

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.”

Gadkari’s comment has come at a time when India has mounted pressure on Pakistan in the wake of a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama last week. At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in the attack, for which Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility.

India responded by revoking the most favoured nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan in 1996. It also hiked tariff on imports from Pakistan by 200 per cent.

Also Read | In backdrop of Pulwama terror attack, resolution on Kashmir situation likely in upcoming RSS meet

In an aggressive diplomatic move, the ministry of external affairs reached out to more than two dozen countries including P5 – the US, the UK, France, Russia and China, which has repeatedly used its veto to block sanctions against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations.

This is not the first time, however, when Gadkari has spoken about construction of projects on these rivers, whose water is going unutilised into Pakistan. In January this year, Gadkari had said India’s share of water has been going to Pakistan without being utilised asserting that “we have decided that we will stop the flow and divert the water which is rightfully ours”.

According to the Indus Waters Treaty, subject to certain conditions, India has the right to use water flowing in eastern rivers, namely, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan controls the right to use water in western rivers, namely, the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab.

First Published: Feb 21, 2019 18:42 IST

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