INDUS WATERS TREATY 1960: PRESENT STATUS OF DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
GS 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations
Why in News?
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.
Indus Water Treaty 1960:
Under the Indus Waters 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.
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 status of development in India:
To utilize the waters of the Eastern rivers which have been allocated to India for exclusive use, India has constructed Bhakra Dam on Satluj, Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on Ravi. These storage works, together with 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 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:
Resumption of Construction of Shahpurkandi project:
This project will help in utilizing the waters coming out from powerhouse of Thein dam to irrigate 37000 hectares of land in J&K and Punjab and generate 206 MW of power. The project was scheduled to be completed by September 2016.
However, following a dispute between the state of J&K and Punjab, the work on the project had been suspended since 2014. The construction work has now resumed by 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 itself and provide a total irrigation benefits of 31,380 ha in Kathua, Hiranagar and Samba district of J&K apart from providing water for the district Kathua of J&K.
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.
- The project is expected to utilize about 0.58 MAF of surplus waters below Ujhdam by diverting the same to Beas basin for benefits of other co-basin states. The government of India has 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.