Water issues

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India’ Supreme Court has ordered the central government to implement the 2002 project to link 30 major rivers crisscrossing India to ensure a better control over floods and to have an efficient distribution of water from surplus to deficient areas. We understand that Pakistan might have questioned the inclusion of rivers originating from Kashmir in this scheme as it may lead to, in the long run, water shortages in Pakistan.
Pakistan’ ex-Army Chief Mirza Aslam Beg has voiced his concern through newspapers’ opinion sections on lack of any plan on the part of government to challenge this alleged ‘water hegemony’ being imposed by India.
There is no doubt that it’s a very serious issue and Pakistan shall take this up with the institutions (such as World Bank) who are the guarantors of 1960 Indus Water Treaty. However, I wonder why we cry foul all the time while we fail to act on the very obvious and logical.
It was reported on March 7 that eight power turbines of Tarbela dam were shutdown as the dam reservoir reached at its dead level. Now let’s read this in conjunction with the other reports about the flood water from last few years’ rains, which drowned half of the country – where that water had gone; yes, in the sea. Pakistan wasted hundreds of million acre feet (MAF) rain water in floods; why, because it failed to store or divert the flood water to dams or reservoirs (if there are any to receive).
Brits built a world class canals based irrigation system during the colonial time but if there is no stored or flowing water to keep these canals live then whom should we blame. Lack of trust among provinces has halted the construction of Kalabagh dam (KBD)
for decades. It is feared that if ever built Punjab will have link canals to divert the stored water for its own irrigation purposes. Therefore, Sindh province is content with an occasional dry Indus basin followed by heavy flooding, but not ready to allow construction of Kalabagh Dam.
I would propose when we take up (or better say complain about) the Indian plan to interlink its rivers to conserve water from wastage, with international institutions, then same time we may ask them what can we do to build trust among the provinces to conserve flood water and construct new dams including KB dam?
MASOOD KHAN
Jubail, Saudi Arabia

1 COMMENT

  1. about damn time. This is the only way terrorists can be punished. Take away their water.

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