Water issue: Process is likely to be initiated to end the water scarcity in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, J & K and Himachal in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), which is scheduled for August 28 to 31 in Lahore (Pakistan). A nine member’s delegation, led by PK Sexsena, Commissioner from Ministry of External Affairs will proceed to Pakistan through Atari-Wagha border in district Amritsar. Usually, meeting of representatives of both countries is called once in a year, but this year, it will be the second meeting in the year, after March 30.
A nine member delegation including JS Bawa, AK Agrawal, Govardhan Prasad, P Devender Rao, Keshav Deshmukh, Rajeev Baboota, Rajveer Singh and Vishwesh Negi will procedd to Lahore, led by Commissioner Saxena. The PIC is a bilateral commission consisting of officials from both Countries created to implement and manage the goal of Indus Water Treaty. Sources in the MEA told that the meetings were going on, but after the decision taken by the Government of India to utilise 20 per cent of water from the Indus River allotted it under the agreement and review the agreement has created concern for the Pakistan Government. Interestingly, the World Bank has also shown its interest in favour of India. Till today, the India has been utilising only 4 per cent of water against allotted 20 per cent. Under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), signed in 1960, three western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab are reserved for Pakistan, while water from eastern rivers Ravi, Sutlej and Beas are for reserved for India. But in lack of water reservoirs, the water in much quantity is flowing to Pakistan through Ravi and sometimes from Sutlej also. India gets 20 percent of water, while Pakistan getting 80 percent of water under the treaty, which had been finalized after the meeting of then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayoob Khan on September 19, 1960 in Karachi. But India feels the treaty injustice with it, especially then when the Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, J & K and Himachal have been suffering water scarcity.
Prime Minister Narender Modi and later Union Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari have declared that India will keen to review the water treaty as well as the GOI has started process to stop its share of water flowing to Pakistan. Issue of Sutlej water pollution in Pakistan, when the river travels in a zig-zag manner along the Indo-Pak border, would be also one with other issue, which is likely to be discussed in the meeting.
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